Residents display generosity

Community collects numerous items for Penticton Community Soupateria Society

Our heartfelt thanks to the good-hearted citizens of Penticton, who donated so very generously this year and warmed the bodies and hearts of so many in need.

Our gifts this year: 225 blankets; 45 sleeping bags; 160 scarves; 220 toques; 165 pairs of gloves/mitts; 170 ladies winter coats; 150 men’s winter coats; 10 pairs of ski pants; 15 headbands; 11 earmuffs; 20 vests; one girls snow suit; four coveralls; and two boxes of shoes

Our many thanks to: Saint Saviors Church for the use of their hall where we gave items to those in need; Bank of Nova Scotia (Warren Avenue branch) volunteers for assisting with the giveaway and cleanup after (10 employees); Junior Chamber International who assisted with deliveries of clothing/blankets at the church hall to the needy; Gayle Focken (Dominion Lending – The Mortgage Centre) for the use of her moving trailer; Steve Thompson (Royal LePage) for the use of his moving van; my staff:  Kim (and her husband, Roy), Sheri and Vicki, who dedicated many hours receiving the generous gifts from our many donors and organizing the various articles of clothing; Kim and Roy Ehlers for the many hours of moving and sorting; The Western News who conveyed “our goal” to the general public; to the many volunteers and to Lauraine Bailey – president of the Penticton Soupateria Society.

We gave away the various articles at Saint Saviors Church Hall, with many of the less fortunate expressing their gratitude and saying “You made my Christmas this year!” and the smiling faces were so heartwarming.  One elderly lady was so excited she had a comforter she was going to put on her bed — she said I haven’t had one of these for years. I replied “That will keep you nice and toasty.”

Some other heartwarming stories: a man hand knitted three garbage bags full of blankets to give to those in need – which took him the better part of a year; a 93-year-old man hand knitted 50 toques to give away; a woman, 92 years old, hand made dolls to give away to the children of those less fortunate.

This warmed the cockles of my heart and I could not help but remember a question I heard about long ago, from a girl by the name of Virginia. She wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Sun in 1897. Is there a Santa Claus? she asked. Newsman Francis Church, in part wrote this:

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.  Alas!  How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus.  It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.  There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.  We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight.  The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

What I do know is the spirit of Christmas lives in the hearts of the citizens of Penticton and again, a heart-felt thank you.

Quote: “Each of us can be a gift to the heart, friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.” — Isadora James

Gregory J. Litwin, director

Penticton Community Soupateria Society

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alan can be seen picking organic ambrosia apples on his Keremeos orchard, Old Tower Farm. The provincial government has partnered with the farm owners to lease a portion of their orchard to a new farmer. (Old Tower Farm photo)
Budding farmer gets his start on Keremeos orchard

Kanver Brares, 21, will grow the fruits of his labour on leased land at Old Tower Farms

Corsac the cat is up for adoption at Critteraid.
Critteraid hosts three adoption Sundays

More than 40 cats looking for their forever homes

Abigail McCluskey is in the Netherlands training to compete in the World Cup next month. She joins 12 Canadian speedskaters for the international competition later this month. (Dave Holland CSI Calgary)
Penticton speed skater in Netherlands for World Cup

Abigail McCluskey will be skating the long track in the international competition

Summerland Middle School
COVID exposure at Summerland Middle School

The person who tested positive was at school Jan. 11

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement facility. (Good Samaritan Society photo)
Resident of Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement home tests positive for COVID-19

Interior Health has not declared an outbreak at the facility

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

Most Read