Submitted by Norma Lizotte
So the story begins! About 15 years ago a group of women decided to get together and sing Christmas carols door to door in the Heyden area. Our objective, raise money and food items to help support Christmas Cheer in Sault Ste. Marie. We aren’t the greatest singers, but we have done well.
In the beginning, we drove the food and money raised through our efforts into the City, but it soon became very evident that there were people and families right in the Heyden, Goulais and Searchmont areas that could use some help around the holidays too.
A private source was kind enough to point us in the right direction. The families our efforts help out always remain anonymous to the public so that those who receive our Christmas Cheer are never revealed. After all, no one deserves to be hungry no matter what the circumstances may be!
Over the years, people have come to expect us and often call to ask when they can expect to hear us Christmas caroling in their front yard. They actually look forward to preparing their donations for when we arrive.
The immense generosity we receive from our neighbours in the Trout Lake/Heyden area enables us to provide the families we help out with a Christmas dinner complete with all of the fixings and gifts for under the tree. PLUS, enough food and household items to continue to help them out for about a month after the holidays.
We would also like to mention that the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #4061 has supported our group for years. Space is provided to store the goods we collect, sorting and boxing the items we deliver. Approaching the holiday season, a donation box is put out to collect food, toys and other items which quickly fills up. Throughout the year they continue their support by helping us with various events to aid in our efforts. Then in December it’s off to deliver the food, toys and other items we collect to the families.
The happy stories we could tell! Children smiling while unpacking their Christmas Cheer. Seeing a child so happy to receive a bag of oranges and actually peeling and eating one before looking to see what else may be in their package. Seeing a tear of gratitude in a parents eye. A gift is provided for each child so Christmas morning will be a happy one.
We believe that if everyone just gave a little, A LOT OF GOOD will happen! The motto of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #4061, Heyden/Goulais, is “People Helping People”, and so with their support we have been able to do just that.
We would like to thank our small Community, friends and private donators for all the support be it money, food or their time volunteering. It’s this which makes our efforts so beautiful and such an inspiring experience.
Come out and join us next year! Whether singing, planning, packing, shopping or donating. See the smiling face of a child makes it so worthwhile!!!
Smile, Life is what you make it!