THUNDER BAY – “I am very pleased that with the help of Ontario Public Service Employees and particularly the MNR staff, Shelter House will be able to present all the children that attend our Christmas Dinners this Sunday with a gift of their own,” shared Cal Rankin, the Executive Director at Shelter House. “We expect to serve between 500 and 600 individuals at our two dinners, many will be children of the most marginalized families in our community. We are truly grateful to all those who help to make Christmas a memorable and enjoyable occasion for those most impoverished, and for assisting Shelter House in their mission of providing the essentials of food, shelter and clothing to the families that we serve.”
Every child should be fortunate enough to experience the magic of the holidays and have the joy of opening a gift of his or her own. To help Ontario families to make this a special and memorable holiday for as many children as possible, Ontario Public Service (OPS) offices across the province have been collecting donations of new, unwrapped toys, as well as cash donations and gift certificates.
“It’s an absolute privilege to help make this presentation today on behalf of the local staff at these three ministries. We’re very proud of our public service in the province of Ontario and especially right here at home. I salute them for reaching out to make this a better Christmas for families here in Thunder Bay,” commented Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North.
“Thank you to all of those involved for their contribution to this worthwhile effort. Making the Christmas season a more enjoyable experience, especially for young children, is something you can all be very proud of,” shared Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan.
In Thunder Bay, the toys and donations collected by OPS staff were presented to Cal Rankin, Executive Director of Shelter House by Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle and Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro. The toys will be provided to children having Christmas dinner at Shelter House.
Ontario Public Service offices in Thunder Bay have conducted a number of charity drives to help those in need this holiday season.
Staff at the Ministry of the Environment conducted a food drive for the Thunder Bay Food Bank. Employees at the Ministry of Community and Social Services/Ministry of Children and Youth Services helped deliver hampers to families in need for the Thunder Bay Christmas Cheer Fund, donated money to the Children’s Aid Society and collected hats/mittens/warm clothing to donate to families in need in our community.
In addition to the toy drive, staff at the Ministry of Natural Resources conducted a coat and food drive for Shelter House Thunder Bay and Faye Peterson Transition House, and held their annual sponsorship of a Children’s Aid Society family.