January 15th 2024
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. Enchanting! The season brings visions of golden-brown turkeys with all the trimmings. Carolers sing as the snow falls gently down. Gifts under the Christmas tree. Stockings hung by the fireplace. Family times. It’s just a special time unlike any other in the year. And a time when memories are forged that will last a lifetime.
But for many, that is not the reality of Christmas at all. For many families right here in Niagara, it is a struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table. Anything extra for Christmas is just not a possibility. And for those families, Christmas does not conjure up visions of warm blessed times, but rather a sense of dread at the thought of unfulfilled dreams and wishes.
For many years now, the men and women at RE/MAX Garden City Realty have stepped up and tried to make a difference, at least for some.
Beginning in mid-November, a call goes out to our agents and staff reminding them of our annual ‘Caring and Sharing at Christmas’ drive and encouraging them to give. And, in spite of the fact that 2023 was one of the toughest markets real estate has seen in many years, give they did. When all was said and done a total of just over $7,400 was raised.
Once again Phyllis Gleeson and Maureen McIvor, our Christmas elves came out of retirement to handle all the Christmas shopping. In times past we have been assigned specific families to shop for.Given a wish list for the kids and a grocery list to make up full Christmas dinners for each family. That has changed over the past couple of years. Working through the Salvation Army, we are told if we shop for the same basic needs and wants, but without specific family units in mind, the drive is able to cover more ground and touch more needy families. So out the ladies went, shopping for toys, word games, barbie dolls, etc., basic necessities and lots of food. The destination is a large warehouse set up a lot like a food bank, where all the items are collected and set up on display. Families are scheduled to come in at certain times and are able to ‘shop’ for Christmas. For the families the centre is able to accommodate, it gives them a chance to have a somewhat normal Christmas with some gifts for the kids and a turkey dinner to enjoy.
It doesn’t sound like much, I know, but for families with nothing, it does make a difference. I still remember a few years back when Maureen had the opportunity to deliver baskets to some families, how one little girl, upon her arrival, had her eyes light up and she said “Mommy, look at the food!”. It wasn’t the presents that caught her attention. It was the most pressing and urgent need. Food. Shouldn’t be something kids have to worry about.
By the time this newsletter goes out, Christmas 2023 will be in the history books, but it’s nice to know that as we enjoyed all the festivities the season has to offer, that the men and women of RE/MAX Garden City played a part in making some families, people they will never know, enjoy a Christmas they might not have otherwise had. Thank you guys! God Bless us, everyone.