by Sandy Casselman,
Coordinator, Linking Hands
With the help of generous neighbouring communities, House of Lazarus (HOL)’s 2018 Christmas season saw food bank families gifted with food, as well as presents for under the tree.
Each year, HOL client services manager, Kim Merkley, takes on the enormous task of coordinating several Christmas programs for food bank clients, relying on the community – service groups, individuals, businesses, and more – to help put food on the table and presents under the tree for the holiday. The 2018 season saw 56 singles and/or couples, 64 families, and 17 seniors receive gifts and food supplies for the Christmas season, some including gas cards, grocery cards, pet food and more. In addition, more than 119 gifts were given out through the Angel Tree program.
“People are so generous,” Kim said. “I was amazed by the number of people, businesses and community groups contacting me to find out how they could help. It was inspiring, and it confirmed what we see every day at House of Lazarus: people care about their neighbours.”
The local food bank also accepted donations of close to 10 Emergency Food Bank Boxes through its Reverse Advent Program. The boxes, which contained 24 food items, were ready for dispersal to food bank clients facing a food emergency during HOL’s annual shutdown from December 21, 2018 to January 2, 2019.
House of Lazarus is a food bank and outreach mission located in Mountain, serving hundreds of clients from surrounding communities, including all of Dundas County, Grenville County and South Ottawa. Last year, 600 people were fed through HOL’s food bank, while 2,630 people were provided with food, clothing, furniture, and household goods through its outreach programming. A community-supported venture, House of Lazarus does not rely on government funding. It’s through HOL thrift stores, grants, donations, and fundraisers that its projects and programs happen.
For more information on this or other House of Lazarus projects, please visit www.houseoflazarus.com or follow the mission on Facebook.