The best gift is you

Community Heroes

“The person who helps others simply because it should or must be done and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.” ~ Stan Lee

Have you heard of the 519 Community Collective? Formed at the start of the pandemic last year, this Waterloo Region community group has a mission to help the less fortunate in our community.

This compassionate group of volunteers is out in the region daily bringing food, clothing, bedding, toiletries and more to the homeless and other vulnerable members of the community.

This little Facebook group started at the end of March 2020 has grown to nearly 5,000 members already. With so much support, they now have several programs running.

Their Emergency Food Hampers program provides food to people in urgent need. The New Beginnings program provides donated items for people moving to a new place from a shelter, transitional housing, or other group home settings.

And their most recent Nourish Urban Meal Program provides home-cooked frozen meals to senior shut-ins, people recovering from surgery, bereavement or other emergency issues. In fact, they now have their very own, fully inspected commercial kitchen where they prep and package their meals.

Composed 100% of volunteers, this group relies on donations and support from the local community and businesses. And the need is greater than ever during these cold winter months made worse by the ongoing pandemic.

A quick scroll through their Facebook page and you can see how active and busy they are. As a volunteer with Meals on Wheels for over 10 years now, I can attest to the joy that helping others in need brings.

There are so many people out there struggling to make ends meet, living on the streets, or dealing with other hardships and challenges. Everyone deserves a helping hand. Whether you can help with your time, with resources, with donations or with money, there are lots of opportunities out there to make a difference.

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