As we start preparing for holiday festivities and feasts, the fact that others will go without becomes even more apparent. Next Saturday, more than 160 volunteers – members of the Kiwanis Club of Elmira, plus friends, family and other community service organizations – will try improve the lot of those less fortunate when they take to the streets of Woolwich Township seeking donations for the annual Christmas Goodwill Food Drive, with proceeds going to support the Woolwich Community Services Christmas Goodwill hamper program.
The success of the event has grown steadily over the past few years, as more volunteers and more communities are included in the canvass. Last year, the club collected more than 12,000 pounds of food.
“With the economy still soft and unemployment high, the need is greater than ever,” said Fred Karpala, Kiwanis member and co-chair of the food drive. “We hope to grow again this year. With the help of other community groups, we have been able to canvass all of the settlement areas of Woolwich Township.”
The door-to-door canvass runs from 9 a.m. though noon on Nov. 20, and will cover virtually all homes in Elmira, St. Jacobs, Conestogo, Breslau, Maryhill, Winterbourne, West Montrose, Heidelberg, Floradale and Bloomingdale.
Homeowners in settlement areas are asked to help by leaving non-perishable food items in a bag on the front porch. Anyone who is not canvassed can drop off donations between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the old township office on Arthur Street in Elmira.
“It sends a great message to the residents of Woolwich when service clubs, students and friends all participate together in a worthwhile community service project,” said Peter Black, the event’s other co-chair. “It is often said that Woolwich is a commnity of barn raisers – when there is a need in the community, people from all different groups and neighbourhoods come together to get the job done.”
Karpala estimates it will take about 40 teams, or 160 volunteers in all, to get the job done.
“The key is to give everyone a nice, easy chunk of work so they can get it done in a couple of hours and not get burned out.”
Volunteers are still needed for canvassing and sorting food, and can get involved by calling Fred Karpala at 519-669-0694, email@example.com or Peter Black at 519-497-0452, firstname.lastname@example.org.