Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

The Gift of Hope on Day 11

December 20, 2012

12 Days

If you have young children (or grandchildren) this time of year can be particularly joyful.  It’s an opportunity to start and pass along family traditions, spend time together and have some fun in the snow.  It is a time when a lot of workplaces wind down (unless you work retail of course) and, as the last ten days have shown, it is a time when a lot of people make an extra effort to help others and contribute to a better community.  What is there not to like about December?

Well, for many people on the receiving end of good will and charity, or those who are largely invisible in our community, like the homeless and those who are struggling with addiction, December is one of the worst times of year. December 25th in particular looms large as a reminder of broken families and relationships.

“We spend a lot of time getting people ready for Christmas,” Rick, a staff person in House of Friendship’s men’s addiction program told a group of us recently. “The guys get themselves mentally prepared for the loneliness and the bad memories and we make ourselves available over the holidays to support them.  But, in the new year, is when it hits the hardest.” This is a common experience for the staff in all of our addiction programs for men and women.

What can an individual do to build a sense of hope in people who are feeling like recovery might not be possible and that they may never be able to heal the damage that has shaken their families apart?



What hand were you dealt?

February 8, 2012

On Wednesday mornings, I head over to 174 King (aka 174), which is one of House of Friendship’s addiction programs. This program is a 6-8 month residential treatment facility for men who desire to overcome an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. There are approximately fifteen men who stay in the house at any given time, providing them with a supportive and substance-free environment to help them in their recovery. (more…)

Holiday Season events to help end hunger

December 2, 2010

Yesterday I blogged (here) about the Christmas Hamper Program and how you can help the House of Friendship and Salvation Army make a difference this December. But donating food can involve more fun than filling a paper bag full of supplies.

As you may remember from our previous posts on this blog, the Emergency Food Hamper Program and the Christmas Hamper Program get the majority of their food from an other organization: the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.  This Holiday Season, there are many different community events coming up where Food Bank representatives will be present to accept food and monetary donations. Supporting the Food Bank will go a long way to ensuring we and the many other food programs in the region can meet the needs of the people coming to us for help. (A little fuzzy on the difference between House of Friendship and the Food Bank?  read here to clear it up). So take your children or friends out to have a great time at one of the many events to come:

  • Drop off a donation to the Center in the Square while you’re there to see a performance, or if it’s close to your home. Donation bins will be placed in their lobby area during the month of December.
  • Purchase an “Extra Helpings” food bag from any Loblaws, Zehrs, Valu-Marts, No Fills, Great Canadian Superstore, and the Great Canadian Wholesale Club during November 26-December 16th. You’ve probably seen the paper bags advertised near the front registers filled with canned goods that are passed on, along with the other items left in the donation bins, to the Food Bank to be distributed. Or there is always the option to purchase a few extra items during your regular grocery trips to place in the donation bins, which are located near the Customer Service area in most grocery stores.
  • Visit Christmas Fantasy at the Victoria Park Clock Tower on December 2nd at 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm. This is the opening ceremony for the lights that are displayed in the park on the trees, buildings and bridges until early January. There will be free crafts for children, hot chocolate, horse-drawn carriage rides, and Food Bank representatives collecting food or monetary donations.
  • Participate in the “Stuff-a-bus” campaign on December 10th-12th at the Laurentian Power Center Zehrs, which is near the intersection of Ottawa St S and Homer Watson in Kitchener. Volunteers will be collecting donations of food in hopes to try to fill a city bus full of non-perishable food items.

Hopefully one of these many events has caught your interest or will fit into your schedule. These events are typically a lot of fun, and contribute to a helpful cause. But also feel free to stay in touch with the Food Banks calendar of upcoming events, which you can find on their website. You’ll learn about a lot of great festival and activities that occur throughout the year at a low-cost with a high yield of fun!