Local trio stuffs holiday stockings for Guelph's less fortunate
Tis' the season to give back and that’s what a trio of women in Guelph are planning to do.
Cindy Dietrich-Koster and her sister Laurie MacIntyre, along with their cousin Carrie Astins-Sekenda are hoping to stuff over 80 stockings filled with essentials to distribute to the less fortunate this holiday.
"We just want to give them a little Christmas cheer, a little smile goes a long way," said Dietrich-Koster.
The project was sparked by their struggles growing up having to depend on the generosity of others in Guelph.
"It just means a lot to this family to do what we can to thank the world for everything they’ve done for us," said MacIntyre.
The three relatives, who call themselves the "Caring Loving Cousins", are collecting items like winter essentials, hygiene products and even toys to fill the stockings.
"Mitts, hats, scarves, undershirts, thermal underwear because this is the season [when] it’s cold," said Astins-Sekenda.
The stockings will be distributed at the Bench, a grassroots non-profit in downtown Guelph. Edward Pickersgill organizes the initiative and gives out food, clothing and other essentials to over 70 people every day.
"Christmas is a difficult time for them, so some people will take stockings for themselves," said Pickersgill, "Some of them will want stockings to give to somebody else in their family like their children that they only see on special occasions."
Community members who use the Bench often said they’re looking forward to receiving their stockings on Dec. 23.
"The holidays can be so hard, so that act of kindness goes a long way," said Hillary Forget.
She said she has to walk everywhere, so to have winter essentials in her stockings would be a great present.
So far more than 40 community members have donated to fill the stockings. Anyone looking to donate items can drop them off at 7 Brentwood Drive, 109 Guelph Street, and 174 Dawn Avenue.