| The Bleecker/Wellesley Activity Network serves seniors and disabled in low income housing that live on financially restricted budgets. Either Ontario Works (welfare), Ontario Disability Pension or Old Age Pension. They all live in social housing too. Many of our participants are isolated and do not have family near or far. Every Christmas/Holiday Season about 25 volunteers get together to make this a special time for all that attend which is usually 80 or more people.
Other than getting all the gifts, door prizes and stuffing the gift bags, we start 2 days ahead, on the Tuesday, and do as much food prep as possible including peeling and cutting 40 lbs of potatoes and then put them in the fridge in cold water for Thursday's meal. There is a possibility we will make a soup this day as well. The day before the meal is a huge feat of getting all the produce sorted, counted and bagged for the free fresh produce so everyone that is registered for a bag gets one! It's a huge bag. Then we move on to the rooms we serve and eat in and decorate it all up for them.
This year on Thursday Dec. 14th we have the meal! 7 turkeys beautifully cooked by the Fairmont Royal York Hotel that we dropped off days earlier and picked up that morning fresh from the oven. We make stuffing, mashed potatoes, fresh steamed veggies and gravy. Dessert is apple or pumpkin pie a la mode or for those that prefer, fresh cantaloupe. We have an amazing Vegetarian cook and she always prepares a wonderful vegetarian meal as well.
Everyone attending gets a gift bag! In it are lots of little goodies including hand gels or creams, rubber for opening jars, calendars, etc. etc. There are over 20 little items in there this year and it also includes a $10 No Frills gift card (our local store) wrapped up with a package of candy!
As well, everyone attending has the chance to win one of our many door prizes.
With all that being said, we have a lot of fundraising to do. We are hoping you can find it in your heart to donate to us this year. Pick something that pulls your heart strings and that you'd like to contribute to. We thank you so much for your contribution and you will receive a Charitable Tax Receipt for your donation.
For any donation of $100 or more you will also receive a copy of our "Multi-Cultural Recipe Book". A wonderful book the group created full of amazing recipes they have either from their cultural background or their childhood. It's a beautiful, colourful, full of pictures book so you can see who you are helping and other activities we do throughout the year.