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 It’s that time of year again when we think of exchanging gifts and sharing special seasonal activities with our friends and families. As the Covid-19 pandemic becomes more controlled we have regained some of the freedom that we used to take for granted, so we can celebrate the Christmas season more joyfully.

But for those who are part of the Our Place Family, Christmas is not always a joyous time. Many of these folk are not in touch with their families and can find the Christmas season a cold and lonely time. Also, there have been greater challenges in recent times among Our Place Family members.

The Angel Gifts program shares some warmth and friendly greetings with the Our Place Family. The Angel Gift that you give might be the only gift that person receives. Those who have received Angel Gifts in past years have been very moved by the generosity and caring that come with the gift. 

Our Place has taken on management of a number of shelters and transitional housing locations and relocated some of its office space so that fewer people are attending the Pandora Ave. drop-in centre. Members of the Our Place Family are now spread out amongst 11 different sites in the region.

That makes collecting Angel Gift recipient names more complicated this year. Donors are asked to register in advance, and this can be done until the November 30 deadline. Names of recipients are sent to registered donors, along with some basic information about the recipient and detailed “Instructions for Donors."

Once the donor has purchased and wrapped their gift, it needs to be returned to the church by Sunday, December 12. The next day, all the Angel Gifts are collected for final sorting and are transported to Our Place for distribution. If you would like to register to “be an Angel” to a member of the Our Place Family, or if you have questions about the program, contact Penny Bond.

 In 2020, despite pandemic restrictions, 500 Angel Gifts were provided to our Our Place family neighbours. They are so grateful for the warmth and generosity that these gifts represent. In 2021, the need to show this tangible proof of caring is just as great!