Community gives generous support at Christmas


The community of North Renfrew is a giving place, and nowhere does that show through more than the annual Community Christmas Basket program.

Each year the Community Christmas Basket program helps over 300 individuals in the North Renfrew area, including children, adults and seniors.

For the past 29 years the Christmas Basket program has been running as a co-ordinated community effort, tying together the various charitable initiatives of several service groups, churches, clubs, businesses and individuals.

Organized by volunteers and administered through North Renfrew Family Services, the program helps to ensure a fair distribution of gifts, so that some groups or individuals are not receiving duplicated gifts while others are overlooked entirely.

In the photo above, volunteers gathered all the toys and gifts donated at Our Lady of Good Counsel parish hall earlier this month before community members were invited to make their selections.

A few more examples of community giving in this Christmas season:

North Renfrew Family Services (NRFS) received a much-needed boost just before Christmas, with P&G Enterprises making a $5,000 donation to the social services agency. The company’s hard-working employees represented the company’s owners, Gary and Charlene McAnulty, in presenting the funds to NRFS counsellor Kelly Hawley. 

On behalf of pets everywhere, Megan, shown here lying down, was happy to accept a $300 donation on behalf of the Renfrew County OSPCA from employees at Northern Credit Union (NCU) in Deep River, through an NCU initiative which also allowed the employees to raise funds for both long-term care homes here in Deep River.

Heather Jobe, second from left, the OSPCA’s community development coordinator, was also pleased to accept the donation, and the NCU employees, Wendy Redford, Tammy Riopelle and Debbie Martin, were pleased to make it.

On Sunday, December 11 the Deep River Community Band held its first Christmas concert in three years. The band donates proceeds from the door to a local charity. This year donations of $730 are going to the Deep River and Area Food Bank. In the picture above, band exec members, Ann Serdula and Jeff Armstrong give the cheque to Helena Rummens, treasurer of the food bank. Band directors Rob Carson and Anne Dickson look on.

This year’s Smile Cookie campaign at Tim Hortons raised $8,125 for North Renfrew Family Service (NRFS), and that’s the most money that campaign has ever raised for the social services agency, according to Tracy Russell, NRFS’s executive director, who was on hand at the store to accept the donation. From left to right are Tim Hortons managers Danielle Davidson, Christa Beauchesne, Russell and Tim Hortons owner Ania Breckon.

Last Friday’s winter storm cancelled buses, which unfortunately pushed the winter formal off until February, but it didn’t stop the Elementary Student Council at Mackenzie Community School from getting the 400 non perishable food items they collected as part of their Holiday Food Drive into the Deep River and Area Foodbank.

Digital Copy Xpress has come through in a big way for North Renfrew Family Services (NRFS). The store’s manager, Amy Croteau, is shown here presenting NRFS executive director Tracy Russell with a $2,500 donation for the social services agency.

The money was raised through Northern Credit Union’s (NCU) “Empower Local” initiative during Small Business Month recently. The initiative also saw $2,500 going to the “Floors for Families” program in the Dominican Republic, while Kim Roberts Belanoha was the grand prize winner at the store of a $500 gift certificate, as well as a $500 GIC at NCU. Will Fitton also won a $100 gift certificate at Digital Copy Xpress.

The Maison des Jeunes, along with the municipality of Rapides des Joachims, hosted a Santa Claus parade on Saturday, December 17. After the parade Santa handed out gifts for all the children, and another gift arrived unexpectedly. Dena Meilleur of the United Steel Workers Union, local 4906 (CNL) was very happy to present to Kelsey Daly of the Maison des Jeunes a cheque for $1,000.

This cheque will go a long way and help in many areas. On hand to share in the moment were (left to right) Riley Fischer, Santa, Ainsley Branje, Haley Charbonneau, Harper Loos, Chloe Fischer and Hunter Loos.

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