2013 Christmas Party

Well our Christmas Party today was a great success! there were men and women from the Houses as well as generous volunteers – some new ones – and representatives of long-time supportive groups like the Sisters of St Ann (Sr Frieda); Knights of Columbus (Paul Redchurch and his wife Eileen); & Jan and Sophia Terhart from the Gordon Head United church.

We were sad at the absence for reason’s of ill health of Stephen Glanville of SSI; Wendy Stewart of Comox (who was to have entertained); Erin Burden facilitator of Judy Thomas House, Jill Coleman Treasurer, and Jo-Anne Layton who were all unable to come. Then of course the busy volunteers and Board members at the Nanaimo Branch are preparing for the Open House on Monday so they couldn’t spare time to come. Some of us will be travelling up to Mary Gordon House on Monday. But nearly 20 of us enjoyed the wonderful finger food and supply of Christmas gifts .. which will be shared with those who couldn’t make it.

We thank Chown Place Fellowship and the United Church for allowing us to use the Hall and we thank Country Grocer and Cobs for the wonderful food. Also Deidre and other Chown Place bakers for goodies,coffee and juice. Wes knows how we appreciate his public relations work requesting and picking up the refreshments. We heard lots of anecdotes about how folk first came to hear about our unique Society–”a family of friends sharing life’s gifts” and we were told that it’s our simple grassroots caring and sharing that is so attractive to people caught in a top-down agency world.

Sr Frieda recalled the times she was able to share furniture and household goods that were no longer needed in SSA convents. Much has been donated to the Nanaimo Branch. Sophia told us that the first they heard of the Human Exchange was through Jo-Anne who came to share with their group back in the 90′s.

Our need for funds was recognized by those who donated cheques to assist us with paying the many bills for our Houses. Saunders Subaru, through Frank Hollett, sent welcome funds and the most touching gift came from a dear senior who gave a year’s worth of post dated cheques for $20.00 a month–the widow’s mite!! That’s the kind of sharing we really value. Thank you Lois!

Finally, St Patrick’s school children donated their Halloween candy to be made into Christmas bon-bons which were also distributed.   Thank you to the Outreach program at St Patrick’s school.

Thanks to those who purchased tickets or Calendars to help Rose Henry to get to El Salvador in February – we have more Hope in the Shadow Calendars and more tickets for ear-rings. Rose was in Vancouver today at a workshop.

Tonight we are all tired but happy that many singles, families and especially children will have smiles on their faces this Christmas because of the generous sharing of our members. Special thanks to Linda, who guided us through the afternoon and to Patti and other volunteers from the men’s houses who helped tidy up the Hall and who showed such tender care. May you all sleep peacefully and have a wonderful Christmas Season in the knowledge you are loved.

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