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Gifts from the heart shine as angel campaign wraps up a record year

PEC OPP’s Michell LaMorre and Const. Kim Guthrie flank Chief Angel Susan Rose in the cramped corners at the CAS Christmas Angel Campaign office where make-shift shelving holds Christmas for 348 County children. Rose is wearing some of the scarves knitted by Helen Knox, who is 100 years old and Peggy Welsh, who is in her 80s and is legally blind. Gerry Wheeler, who is 92, sews the tassels on the scarves.

Just as the smallest presents can yield the biggest gifts, the smallest CAS Christmas Angel office yet is almost ready to deliver the most gifts to date, lovingly contributed by the community’s youngest to oldest residents.

By the end of last week, boxes upon boxes and bags and bags of donations rested on make-shift shelving in the tiny office in the Sobey’s Plaza as donations continued to roll in. The need Chief Angel Susan Rose and her volunteers are trying to relive this year is making a Christmas for 348 County children from 167 families.

With the generous help of the community, Rose believes the goal will be accomplished though she remains a little nervous about having enough kid-friendly food donations to share around.

Highlights of the past few days, she says, include people like Ross Maycock, the Prince Edward OPP and seniors at Publow House in Picton.

“Ross, about 8 or 9 years old, made chocolate hearts and surrounded them with wee candy canes and sold them,” Rose said. “He pounded the pavement for three days and raised $80 that he just delivered to me for the Christmas Angels. I cried. God love him.”

Rose was also delighted to see the PEC OPP’s Michell LaMorre and Const. Kim Guthrie Friday afternoon bearing a bundle of gift certificates from Town & Country Video and McDonalds along with makeup and hair accessories to help with the more difficult purchases for pre-teen and teen angels. They used money generated from the OPP’s canteen fund and LaMorre keeps track of the fund and completes the shopping.

“We’re so thankful for these donations,” said Rose. “Every year it’s the older angels who remain on the tree. They’re the most difficult to buy for. Parents of teenagers know that, so it’s heartwarming to see them being looked after like this.”

Also doing their part thinking of others this Christmas were three residents of Publow House in Picton.
Helen Knox, who is 100 years old and Peggy Welsh, who is in her 80s and is legally blind, knitted more than a dozen scarves donated to the Christmas Angel Campaign. Gerry Wheeler, who is 92, sews the tassels on the scarves.

“It warms your heart, doesn’t it?” states Rose.

* * *

The CAS Angel Campaign office is located at the Sobey’s Plaza, between The Source and Flowers By Marvin. It is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 613 243 0562 for information.

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