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'Tis the season to give back

'Tis the season to be thankful for all we have and for our families. Well, some people don't have any family or much to be thankful about, they are down on their luck, facing addictions and are just trying live day by day.

'Tis the season to be thankful for all we have and for our families.

Well, some people don't have any family or much to be thankful about, they are down on their luck, facing addictions and are just trying live day by day.

Imagine waking up each morning and not knowing where your next meal is coming from, or imagine waking up to three children asking for something to eat and not being able to feed them.

These are situations for the most part, we hope would never happen to us. But in fact the people who end up this way, didn't plan on it, and were just like us.

You may ask why I am writing about this topic, well, a few weeks ago while I was on Facebook a post popped up with PACE, People Advocating for Change through Empowerment, I was curious and clicked on the post. I read that they were looking for donations for their annual Christmas dinner.

I looked around and not one of my contacts had liked this page, it was not a sponsored ad, and I began to think, how did this show up in my news feed? Well, let me tell you what PACE does, they help people struggling with addictions, brain injuries and mental health issues.

My husband has a few family members who are battling alcoholism issues and some other addictions. I felt it was a sign from him to help this organization out. I contacted PACE and spoke to Mandy the Executive Director and told her to leave this with me for a few days and I would get back to her.

I then posted on my private Facebook page with what I was planning on doing this Christmas. You see usually I donate five complete turkey dinners to families in need, but this year I will not be here for the holidays.

I thought this was a way I could still donate and not even have to be here. Within moments of posting on my Facebook, I had at least 5 friends volunteer to help me. Since writing stories about local places to dine in Thunder Bay, I have not cashed my cheques from TBNewswatch.

So I decided to use that money to purchase all the items PACE needed for their annual Christmas dinner.

A few days later, I called TBNewswatch and told them what I was doing and I asked if they could match my donation, or at least donate to help out. I received a call back the next day and they informed me that they would be honoured to help me out with this event.
So TBNewswatch matched my last three months’ pay, and now thanks to Thunder Bay Dining members, TBNewswatch and myself, PACE will have an amazing dinner for their clients this year.

My good friend Kathy Otway has volunteered to pick up all the baking on December 22 and drop it off so they can have fresh baking for the dinner on the 23rd.

I phoned back and spoke to the Executive Director at PACE, she was nearly in tears with our generosity. When I arrived at PACE with a vehicle full of turkeys and hams, the clients and staff came out to carry it all in, they were so happy to see such generosity shown to them.

Whether you chose PACE, Shelter House, RFDA, Dew Drop Inn, Faye Peterson House, Salvation Army or any charity, just remember these people truly appreciate everything, whether its $5 or food or cloth donations, nothing goes to waste. Please share some holiday spirit if you can this year, it's been a hard one for so many!

So this week I headed out and purchased 10 turkeys (16 lbs each) 8 Hams, 100 take out containers, 60 lbs of potatoes, 20 lbs of carrots, 25 boxes of stuffing, 6 cans of cranberries, 5 huge packages of brown gravy mix, 3 jars of mixed pickles, 5 cans of coffee, 2 huge bags of tea, coffee mate, sugar, and all my amazing friends and Thunder Bay Dining members are baking up a storm to complete this holiday meal!

I had called and spoke to B & B Farms because I thought to myself, volunteers are preparing this dinner, imagine peeling 60 pounds of potatoes! So I spoke to the owner Debbie and inquired about the price of peeled potatoes, I had asked if they would maybe give me a small price break on the potatoes, or maybe match me, Debbie said they were happy to donate all 60 pounds of peeled potatoes!

That is the kindness that Thunder Bay is known for and why people say we have a giant heart! I am not sure of our readers are aware that you can purchase your potatoes right from B & B Farms directly, they offer 15 pound bags of peeled potatoes or 20 pound bag of cut fries ready to cook for just $15. You can also purchase bagged potatoes that are not cut.

If you’re interested in the peeled potatoes or French fries give Debbie a call to confirm they have what you’re looking for as they tend to sell out quick of the peeled products.

The number to B & B Farms is 939-1446. Thank you Debbie Burgsteden and family at B & B Farms for having such a generous heart, PACE thanks you, and so do I.

TBNewswatch is also sponsoring a project this year that involves buying underwear and socks for children. With the money that was left I purchased underwear and socks and will be dropped it off at Superstore as there are bins set up for the donations.

I want to thank each and every one of you who helped with this project this year, I hope that everyone has a happy and healthy holiday. Thank you to all the Thunder Bay Dining members and some of my close friends for preparing some homemade goodies for this dinner.

Just a reminder, Norma Jean's on May Street is offering a FREE TURKEY DINNER to anyone who comes in on December 19th from 4 pm til 7 pm. o if you or your family would like to enjoy a beautiful holiday meal, stop by Norma Jean's this Saturday!