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The Gift aims to benefit as many people in Chatham-Kent as possible. Giving and receiving as holistically as possible. The Gifts getting into the intended hands by any means necessary. For the physical gifts, community-based organizations, neighbours finding neighbours and just going and getting from The Gift depots for you or others etc. If a group or individual needs certain products to help achieve their mission, The Gift will support them in any way possible. The Gift aims at facilitating connection and collaboration, so no one is left behind. All citizens own The Gift equally, it is what we make it. Trusting everyone and their intentions is a major pillar.
The following are just a few of the groups who were recipients of The Gift last year:
Ministerial Association (Blenheim) . Jenna’s Chatham-Kent Christmas Toy Drive . St. Vincent De Paul . Dresden Legion . Outreach for Hunger . Family Service Kent . Thamesville Sertoma . Community Living . Hope Haven . FreeHelp CK . St. Ursula Church . Holy Redeemer Parish . Chatham-Kent Citizens . Bothwell Toy & Hamper Program . Chatham-Kent Children’s Services . Goodfellows (Chatham) . Salvation Army (Chatham) . Salvation Army (Blenheim) . W.I.S.H. Centre . Salvation Army (Ridgetown) . Salvation Army (Wallaceburg) . Merlin Community Assistance Group . Goodfellows (Tilbury) . ROCK Missions . & countless more!
In its simplest form, The Gift is a gift (anything), toy and food drive with all collected items being distributed to their intended hands in Chatham-Kent this holiday season.
Now until Nov 19: Find every single person that wants to contribute. Find, think and listen to all the needs in our community. Gift thinking, Gift shopping/creating. Nov 20: Community Collection Day, put what you feel called to give on your front porch. Nov 20th until the end of the holidays: entire community invited to get gifts in intended hands. Who do you know that only you can reach? Do you know what could lift them up?
Jan 1: We continue this growth towards living this way of coming together. Of being together.
Pick up will take place beginning at NOON on Saturday, November 20, 2021.
Citizens of Chatham-Kent united for this initiative in 2020 in response to the devastation COVID-19 caused on our community. It belongs to everyone and therefore aims to have no hierarchy. Over an estimated $3 000 000 dollars worth of Gifts were collected and many seasoned hamper programs estimated more people were reached and helped than ever. All during our most difficult year. Citizens organize and choose how far The Gift goes this year.
Yes. On May 16, 2019, the largest food drive in history took place in Chatham-Kent thanks to the incredible support of the entire community. A total of 678,200 pounds of food was collected! The one-day event provided much-needed items for the various food banks while bringing members of the community together with one common goal and purpose. This event is similar but with gifts of all types being collected. This is an inspired outgrowth of the movement that this community created.
Many feel we have the opportunity to go farther and reach more people. After everything we learned last year, how can we come together even more?
More gifts shining. We realized the potential so many had when unleashed and how good it felt when they/we did. How many people “in need” actually have so much to give and the best gift they can get is the ability to let their gifts shine.
Many believe that we can hear even more of the voices for the needs in Chatham-Kent so that we can make our gifts go even further that we put out. What could lift the lonely senior? A personal gift certificate for a driveway shoveling for someone that just had surgery? The opportunity for a young boy to shop for his siblings?
We also have learned that this is a movement about being and coming together. So how can we make it even more of a celebration throughout but especially on Nov 20. Socially distanced street parties? BBQ’s on front lawns? Sitting on front porches waving to volunteers picking up gifts? Everyone being on their front lawn that day?
way from helping plan the whole thing to liking one post, everyone is trusted to select their role. Everyones' contributions are equal. We work together to help each other choose which roles suit us.