KENTVILLE, NS - What do you get when you combine a group of caring police officers and sheriffs, supportive local businesses and a community that wants to give?
A lot of happy families this Christmas.
On Dec. 21, Kentville Police and local sheriff’s deputies packed up their vehicles and delivered Christmas gifts, Christmas dinner and items to stock local pantries.
“We collected enough to be able to help 32 families, with approximately 59 children,” said deputy sheriff William Poirier. “And that’s not helping the moms and dads as well. We had to make eight trips to bring all of the items we collected in. It’s a massive pile of stuff, it’s absolutely incredible.”
The two agencies teamed up for three collection days on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 outside several local businesses, and the community stepped up, bringing in toys, food items and cash donations.
“It’s unbelievable, really, the amount this community gave is absolutely incredible,” said Const. Angie McWaid with the Kentville Police.
“We’ll be able to provide toys to these families, a Christmas dinner and general food items as well – the non-perishable, everyday items that people need. Some of the families just wanted food, a couple just wanted toys, and that was OK, we just wanted to help however we could.”
Read a previous story here: Kentville police and sheriffs teaming up with toy drives for Christmas http://www.kingscountynews.ca/living/kentville-police-and-sheriffs-teaming-up-with-toy-drives-for-christmas-168911/
The business community came on board to support the project, with Walmart and Sobeys in New Minas, Foodland in Kentville, TJ’s in Aldershot and Jason’s Independent in Kentville all making generous donations.
“Wilson’s Pharmasave in Kentville donated all the hams and a lot of toys, and Home Depot in New Minas just donated a ton of toys,” McWaid said. “Everybody was amazing, but those were two of our biggest ones.”
She was also touched by the efforts of area residents.
“We had an older lady, Shirley Barker, from here in Kentville, who donated three beautiful, homemade quilts that she made herself,” she said. “They’re going to three families. I was just floored, you know how much work goes into something like that.”
All of the items were delivered Dec. 21, and McWaid brought her two young sons along to help out.
“I think it’s good for them to see this and be part of it,” she said.
This was the first time the two agencies have teamed up to fill a need they saw in the community, and McWaid is hoping it won’t be the last time.
“We hope we’ll do it again next year, that’s our plan. It was very well received from our chief and from the head sheriff, they were very much supportive and without that we couldn’t have done it,” she said.