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Annual Christmas box program underway in Port Elgin

By Tara Clow Nov 17, 2023 | 12:14 PM

The PEDVAC Foundation is gearing up for its annual Christmas Box campaign.

Otherwise known as the Port Elgin Voluntary Action Council, the charity provides assistance to anyone in need during the festive season.

“It has been active in the community for almost 40 years. We rely heavily on fundraising and donations and a truck that delivers to us from the Food Depot Alimentaire once a week because we are in a small area that doesn’t have any local grocery stores or large businesses. Christmas is probably one of the biggest things that we do annually,” says Executive Director Jodi MacRae.

Last year they provided around 57 food boxes to families in need, which was more than 157 people.

“They include foods for several days as well as a full Christmas meal with a turkey. There are also gifts for everyone in the family. Not just the children, but parents, and pets. We have a local resident who donates everything for pets, so that’s that’s pretty unique. It’s a lot of work, but we have a lot of really dedicated people in the community to help us out,” MacRae adds.

All of the donated toys are wrapped and delivered to families in need, along with cards and gift tags.

Some of the items needed include turkeys, canned vegetables, canned fruits, desserts, candies, and other items that would be considered part of a Christmas dinner, as well as toys, socks, hats, mitts and books.

Items can be dropped off at 12 Church Street in Port Elgin, Monday to Friday between 9 am and 4 pm, or if you’d like to make a monetary donation, that can be sent to pedvacfoundation@nb.aibn.com.

PEDVAC is also accepting self-referrals as well as referrals from community agencies, groups or individuals on behalf of those they feel may be in need of assistance.

Applications should be received no later than December 1st.

PEDVAC is also looking for volunteers to help wrap gifts and deliver boxes.

The Olde Fashioned Christmas will be held on November 19th at Port Elgin Exhibition Grounds from 4-6 pm at 41 Park Street Port Elgin.

Monetary donations and non-perishables will be accepted on-site that day.

The Christmas Wish Tree will also be there with wreaths indicating a toy that can be purchased for a child in need.

MacRae adds PEDVAC Foundation operates all year with an affordable boutique and food bank, “We also offer things like a free income tax program in the spring, and various social programs running anything from social craft nights to economical cooking classes. They’ll be running again in the New Year once Christmas is over.”

(Photo: submitted)