This was Why Not’s most lovely Christmas ever.
Some years, we have scrambled in hopes of finding a gift for all of our youth. We used to run a lottery system at our Christmas parties, leaving who got the nice gifts to chance.
This year, we were blown away by community members wanting to bless our youth. By November 1st, we already had 9 groups, businesses, and individuals who came to us requesting to collect Christmas presents for the youth.
By December 1st, we had hit all of our targets for the amount of types of gifts we hoped to collect from incredible human beings like:
Kierstyn Matthews + Kayana Smith
Laurier Brantford Law and Society Students Association (LSSA)
ICON Office Environments: Sock Drive
Acts of Random Kindness Club (Laurier)
Sifton Properties Limited
Shenstone Memorial Baptist Church
Moe & Nancy Clark
Rotary & Sunrise Rotary
Sarah Neddow & Friends
As December 19th rolled around, we had been blessed with a $500 expenses budget from our Brantford City Councillors Joshua Wall and Brian Vantilborg, and had a whole contingent of ready-to-go volunteers lined up (thank you to Brantford 99 Minor Bantam Select Team), AND had an entire Christmas dinner catered by a local restaurant which wishes to remain anonymous.
A lovely local woman made Christmas cookies for everyone, Santa & Mrs. Claus came for pictures, and a dance was DJed by one of our own youth.
Things like this are so important to our youth. For many of our crew, the chances to belong and be cared for are few and far between.
When we have the opportunity to bless instead of criticize, to support instead of marginalize, lives change.
In everything we do, we are constantly trying to offset crisis by using stabilizing activities. The guaranteed meals, the accessible clothing, the belonging and activities… all of it works against the things we cannot change.
Bit by bit, it makes a difference.
Thank you all, and Merry Christmas from all of us at Why Not!
The staff of Why Not from left to right: Brooklyn White (Community Developer), Patrick Barnswell (Youth Worker), Val Bray (Youth Worker), Becca McLellan (Director), Kaitlyn Braun (Event Planner), Scott McLellan (guest Santa), Susan Zuidema (Youth Worker), Charlie Kopczyk (Executive Director).