VOS THEATRE’s December contribution was a lot of fun to source. We chose the Salvation Army Toy Drive as our Community cause this month because joy on the face of a child is a gift to us all (and we wanted to test out all the cool new fun things on the shelves).
Board Member Marlena Sculthorpe and her boys presented over $500 in toys to Mark Chard, a firefighter in Port Hope who helps collect and deliver toys to the Salvation Army each year.
“The Port Hope Firefighters were the original organizers of the Santa Claus parade. Years ago at the end of the parade they gave each child a loot bag. A few years ago we were doing fundraising and I suggested sponsoring a couple families for Christmas. Then I thought why not do a toy drive to help more. I noticed the drop boxes that used to be at some businesses were gone. So we started our collection locations.”
Mark and the Port Hope Firefighters set up drop off locations for toys each year to make donating effortless. Then Mark delivers all donations to the Salvation Army to add to their annual toy drive. Mark and his family have a box on their porch at his home, 76 Ward St, in Port Hope. Then there’s Dreamer’s Cafe on Walton St., Evolution Hair Salon on Ontario St. in Port Hope and of course the Port Hope Firehall is accepting donations.
Mark regularly checks the locations and delivers to the Salvation Army for distribution.
“I just like the thought that families will have a nicer Christmas thanks to the generosity of others.” We do too, Mark.
There’s still time to donate to the Toy Drive and if you are wanting to stay clear of the shopping part, cheques are gladly accepted.
Virtual meetings, masks everywhere, no hugs or handshakes, social distancing: we’ve made a lot of adjustments to our lifestyle this year, but when, on the news, the Prime Minister stood and pleaded with us to stay home at Christmas, the whole thing took another turn. Now we are messing with tradition. No noisy dinners with extended family, no festive drinks with friends or neighbors, no community or church get-togethers. Things we often take for granted just can’t happen this year.
When we first announced the VOS’s Community Centre Stage fund; a fund to use money we had already committed to theatre venue rental to instead be given to charities, groups, or individuals who need help now more than ever, we received an email from Merle Gingrich wanting to donate $300 to the fund, ($10 for every year the VOS has been operating) suggesting the money would be given to food banks. An amazingly generous offer that allows us to extend the fund further into the new year. While the food banks always need donations, this time of year, and especially this year the Northumberland Fare Share Food Bank needs it more than ever.
So for this month’s Community Centre Stage donation, we are donating $300 to Fare Share Food Bank’s Holiday Turkey dinner drive. We donated through Holton Flowers in Port Hope but there are many donation locations. Every $20 donation gives a family in need a full turkey dinner for the holidays.
Northumberland Fare Share Food Bank is dedicated to serving Cobourg and Port Hope, by collecting and distributing food and other necessities to individuals and families in need in our community. 2,200 individuals are helped by the Food Bank each year, distributing 350,000 pounds of food.
If you have a little extra this year, you can donate food or money to Northumberland Fare Share. Visit www.fareshare.ca for info or look for the Holiday Turkey Drive sign in Cobourg and Port Hope stores.