Call it irony or perhaps fate, but as I write this, Community Care Niagara is holding their annual “Great Holiday Food Drive”, which is done in association with three local radio stations, NewsTalk 610, 105.7 EZ Rock and 97.7 Htz FM.
The annual event asks residents of Niagara to drop off non-perishable food items and/or cash, which will be used to help the 10,000 individuals in St Catharines/Thorold currently registered with Community Care.
Perhaps we can revise that number to 10,000 and 1.The additional person being me. For the first time ever, I find myself requiring a little help from the outstanding support group, now in its 95th year.
Had it not been for the knowledge of a good friend, who also turns to Community Care for help, I’m not sure if I would have had the courage to register with them for assistance. Now that I’ve had an opportunity to see how it works, I can’t believe I let pride and prejudice prevent me from doing this sooner.
Going back a few years, I remember several times when I filled bags with canned goods to give to Community Care. Now I’m on the receiving end of this service. It has been both educational and humbling.
I’m not quite sure what I imagined it would be like registering for Community Care’s help, but the caring volunteers on hand to assist me, quickly dispelled any myths or preconceptions I may have had.
The truth is one never knows when they may need the services provided by Community Care, something their volunteers understand quite well as they made me feel welcome and unashamed.
In addition to food, Community Care also has a clothing department. As luck would have it, there was a pair of winter boots that fit me perfectly and I am reminded of this good fortune every time I put them on and step out into the snow.
I’ve always been told it’s better to give than to receive, which is part of the reason I was reluctant to reach out for help. Community Care has opened my eyes, filled my heart with hope and my cupboards with food. All I have to “give” back to them is my sincere gratitude and a promise that if things change for me, I’ll be back with bags filled of food once again.
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