How many times have we been able to say, over so many years, that North Grenville is a community of which we can all be proud? Just a few weeks ago, people in the municipality began to talk about putting on a dinner on Christmas Day to bring people together. The idea was to provide a free turkey and ham dinner, with the usual trimmings, desserts and beverages, for whoever wanted to come along.
People who would otherwise be alone that day; parents wanting to show their children that there is more to Christmas than presents and their own family; some who might not be able to afford such a meal at Christmas if left to their own finances; or just residents who like to spend time in fellowship: all were welcomed, all were catered for. Shut-ins could expect a visitor at the door with a cooked Christmas meal.
We should never take for granted the kind of response the organisers got to their plan. Overwhelming hardly does it justice. Without any argument, individuals, businesses, service groups, all expressed a willingness, even an eagerness, to be part of the event. In fact, organisers couldn’t cope with the number of volunteers that came forward. On the day, it seemed that everyone inside and outside Leslie Hall had a welcoming smile, a pleasant word, a bright “Merry Christmas”, for all they met. Even if some were too shy to mix much, they found themselves in the midst of a warm and friendly group, enjoying the company, not alone, not left to feel isolated and apart from their neighbours.
Thanks to everyone involved. From the business that cooked the turkeys, to the donors of food and drinks, the servers, table clearers, washers-up, the young and old who stood outside welcoming everyone with a song or a Christmas greeting. Thanks to the organisers, funders, all of whom demanded anonymity for their good deeds. Thank you to North Grenville, for being the kind of place where something like this can happen with almost no fuss, no spotlight, no problem.
At the end of the day, 170 meals had been served, hundreds of North Grenville friends and neighbours had celebrated Christmas Day together, and yet another example of the kind of people we live among had been shown. Whatever the financial and political problems facing this municipality, there will never be a shortage of goodwill, expertise and volunteer commitment to keep the wheels turning.