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What our MPI “Elves” were up to this holiday season!


By: Chriss Holloway | Jan 15, 2019

The elves of MPI Ottawa’s Community Outreach  Sub-Committee have had a very busy holiday season! It all kicked off at the Festive Dinner on November 28 where the tape-a-toonie initiative was, once again, front and centre as guests arrived. Attendees were asked to bring non-perishable food items with toonies taped to them, and they did not disappoint. A large box of food was collected for each the Ottawa Food Bank and Moisson Outaouais in Gatineau. In addition to the non-perishable items, each organization received a cheque for $209.50 collected from the donated toonies and half the 50/50 draw.

Festive Dinner Tape-a-toonie 

Diane Mongrain and Laurence Lavallee

Next up was a long shift on November 30 at The Snowsuit Fund where six volunteers spent the day helping local families select warm snowsuits for their children. The Snowsuit Fund is an Ottawa-based charity that raises funds for the purchase and distribution of snowsuits to needy children, 15 years and under, in our community. It relies heavily on the manpower support that organizations like MPI provide. We had so much fun that our 2019 volunteer dates are already secured!

snowsuit fund 
Jessica Clifford, Karen Wright, Courtney Jones, Marc Forgette, Chriss Holloway and Julie Bérubé

It was a very early wake-up call on December 14 for a few of our amazing volunteers as they manned the phones at the Ottawa Food Bank headquarters for CBC Project Give from 5:30-9:00 a.m. With more than 387 donor calls throughout the day, it was the most successful Project Give to date, raising just under $200,000 for the food bank!

Project Give 
Mongrain, Bérubé, Jones and Cindy Gascon

One of the most rewarding and heartwarming experiences of the holiday season is the delivery of the Kiwanis Christmas Food Hampers. Every year, Kiwanis prepares more than 600 food-filled “hampers” to deliver to more than 185 families in the Ottawa area. MPI Ottawa has been helping with these deliveries for several years and 2018 was no exception. Despite the cold and freezing rain, 10 teams showed up on December 22, loaded their personal vehicles and delivered hampers to 27 families around the city. In addition to some regular Community Outreach sub-committee members, we managed to recruit a couple of long-time MPI Ottawa members and even a brand-new member to help ensure that Christmas was a little brighter for some of our fellow neighbours.

Kiwanis Elves 

2018 Food Hamper Teams

 Chriss Holloway
 Ashley Craven, CMP & mom Patti
 Karen Wright & Karen Norris, CMP
 Andrew Horsfield & Katherine Craig
 Marie Laplante & fiancé, Stéphane
 Courtney Jones and dad
 Rebecca Narr & husband
 Julie Bérubé & Rose Marie Guerra, CMP, DES
 Brian Henry & stepdaughter Victoria

Norris and Wright, affectionately called K2

Coming up next for the Community Outreach Sub-committee are several food sorting shifts at the Ottawa Food Bank and the selling of 50/50 tickets at the MPI Charity Auction & Dinner on January 31 in support of the MPI Foundation. Please remember to bring cash for tickets. Community Outreach has also been very busy securing and collecting AMAZING donations for the auction, so be prepared to bid on some fantastic items. Once again, the proceeds from the silent and live auctions will benefit the Ottawa Network for Education’s School Breakfast Program & Hopewell. Last year, each of the charities received almost $12,000. Let’s top that total this year!

Finally, if you would like to join the Community Outreach fun, we would LOVE to have you! To find out more information about joining, visit the MPI Ottawa Volunteering page.

Article submitted by MPI Ottawa Community Outreach Sub-committee

Article edited by Melanie Hudson, National Association of Federal Retirees

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