In early December, I reached out to community on the Facebook Hoopla site in an attempt to gather essential items for the Peterborough Men’s Shelter. The facility was seeking toiletries such as deodorant, shampoo, soap and shaving supplies for their clients. I mentioned that small donations put assembled together would make a real different, and offered to pick up supplies from donors’ porches or decks.
What happened next blew my mind. The positive feedback and offers to have a bag of supplies ready rolled in, and some generous folks some even dropped items off at my house. More than twenty wonderful folks in the Millbrook Cavan area put some love into doing this, along with two local businesses that came through. Some items were in gift bags others in just a simple grocery bag. There were even donations of clothing, back packs, socks and gloves. My heart was overwhelmed by the sense of community.
Men in the community in need often seem to be over looked. It’s important to remember these men are someone’s grandfather, dad, brother and friend who like many have hit tough times. Sadly the Peterborough men’s shelter was taken down and new one is now under construction, but the process has taken more than five years, with the new shelter scheduled to open this summer. Despite the very challenging conditions at the emergency shelter, visitors are greeted with positive energy and appreciation.
I am planning to continue to collect items for the shelter throughout the year to offer a helping hand, supported by the kind and generous folks in our area.
It’s important during this difficult time to notice what while COVID has taken so much, it has also given us opportunities to help our neighbours. Many are embracing these chances to help.
Thank you to everyone who helped bring more awareness as well as supplies to our Men’s shelter.
By Darlene Hannam