The Embrun Optimist Club raised $9000 to donate to the Embrun food bank as part of its annual holiday drive. The Optimist Club used to put on a door-to-door food drive in the area, but they found that raising money for the food bank was both more effective and less labour-intensive. The club also buys gift cards for the holiday baskets, which allow the families to buy some gifts to open on Christmas Day.
“In the past, we had to essentially go to every door, cars and trailers in a snowstorm, then you have to separate all the food and throw away everything that’s past due,” said Stéphane Gougeon, an organizer from the Optimist Club. “Now we just do a fundraiser and turn every dollar over to them. They just love getting a big cheque, then they can buy their own stuff.”
The food bank is always accepting donations of non-perishable food items. Ginette Rivet from the food bank said that they don’t need to request specific items as people usually have a good sense of what’s needed around the holidays.
“It’s all because of the generosity of the community that we can do this,” Rivet said. “What we try to give that is good every week, that is what we ask people to give.”