OHSWEKEN – The community should be proud of itself for the overwhelming generosity shown towards the Six Nations Community Food Bank during their holiday fundraising campaign.
The “Helping Hands for the Holidays” campaign received roughly $43 000 worth of monetary and product donations. It ran from the beginning of December to the end of January. Charley Hill, co-ordinator of the food bank couldn’t believe the numbers when she added them all up.
“To be honest I was completely shocked. Our goal was $10 000 and that was completely blown out of the water,” said Charley. “I know we have great people in our community but to see so much coming in was unbelievable.”
In December, the food bank reached out and asked the community for donations. Donations that would fill their shelves with food and various hygienic products that they could give to people in the community that have a hard time getting it on their own.
“Some organizations donated money and some donated products,” said Charley. “But not only large corporations donated — people came in gave their own money or went out and bought things that they could give us.”
This is the first year that the food bank has such a wide variety of things to give. The community got creative with their giving and the food bank was totally on board with it.
“We’ve never had laundry soap before, we’ve never had feminine products or body wash and things like that,” said Charley. “Some people gave us fresh veggies and a hunter came in last week and gave us two deer.”
Volunteers at the food bank will make sure that the donations are used wisely and are handing out products on an as-you-need-it basis, opposed to giving out entire boxes at a time.
“I separate products and organize them so that you can get a package that will last you the whole week,” said volunteer Mary K. Hill. “If someone says they are sure that they will need more though we won’t hesitate to give it to them.”
Charley said that she feels people in the community realize that there is a need to help and on behalf of the food bank she would like to thank everyone for their diligence.
“We want to thank the community and some surrounding organizations for their generosity,” said Charley. “Thanks for everything and really coming through.”
The food bank wants to present a friendly reminder that they are unable to accept expired goods and also wants to courage the community to keep giving even though the campaign is officially over — which they are. A donation for $1 000 came in recently from the Miles To Go Cancer Support Group in Ohsweken.