Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thanking those who helped make it a great year

As the end of 2012 approaches (or has already passed, if you follow the Mayan calendar), it’s time to reflect on another eventful year.
Perhaps the biggest collaborative activity I wrote about was the Time to Care event put on by the Barrie Chapter of the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness this past fall, which helped so many people prepare for winter. More people and organizations gave support than I was able to write about earlier, so I would be remiss to end the year without thanking Naomi Burden of Just One Click Photography for donating her skill and equipment to give so many people a precious memory. Noelle Hennessey helped turn many children into princesses or other fantastical creations with her face-painting art. I already wrote of Rick the Barber, but must also thank Irma Young for styling many women’s hair that day.
Doris Tretter of Mapleview Community Church brought Tammy Dillman and Linda English to give great foot care, while volunteers Jeff and Norm assisted wherever needed. Central United Church kindly provided the facilities to make the whole day possible.
Quite a lot of clothing was brought in and distributed by Youth Haven, Samaritan House, the David Busby Street Centre and Off the Rack. Generous monetary donations from Medigas and Wal-mart funded some of the day’s extra needs.
The chili cook-off was a great success, and since my own “Vegan Volcano” was the first to run out, I’m claiming top honours, although everyone had a great recipe and the variety was wonderful.
But that day was just the start of good things. Having read about the event in my column and inspired to come out and help, Isabella and Ashley Lamoureux of Kempenfelt Bay School started up a sock drive and gathered hundreds of pairs for the Busby Centre to distribute to people without proper housing. Thanks to these girls and their desire to help the community, may people will have warm new socks this winter when they need them.
Like many others, they read of valuable community causes in this column or elsewhere and came forward to be part of the solution. Hopefully in the coming year, more will do the same, to help build a stronger, more resilient Barrie where we can all prosper together.
What sort of stories would you like to see in Root Issues in 2013? Please comment to the paper or at my blog and let me know. I have local entrepreneurs that will see the spotlight, political issues that need sunlight, and environmental stories and tips to bring forward, but there is still room for requests.
And finally, let me thank the Barrie Examiner for providing this space for another year.
Published as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner under the title "Thanks for making 2012 a very eventful year"
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation.

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