Getting involved in the Legion, at least the Colborne Legion, seems to mean that from October 31st until January 2nd, time seems to fly by in a blur. There is what needs to be done that we expect and then what has to be done that is unexpected but needs to be fit in, you know, things like having a bit of a life.
The Poppy Campaign hadn’t even ended when it was suddenly time to make arrangements for people to start applying for Christmas hampers. Christmas.. jeeeze it seemed like that was a long way off just days ago and it wasn’t even Remembrance Day yet. Interspersed in there was a couple of dinners, branch meetings & Santa Claus parade and before long.. November is over. Officially, so was the hamper applications but that doesn’t stop them coming in.
So, here we are in mid-December and poised to start the actual assembly of the hampers. Today will be a busy one with church this morning (will be doing the bulletins as soon as I finish this entry), a brief meeting after church, then to the Branch to change into my uniform for the presentations of the Poster, Poem & Essay contest winners and the Santa Claus parade awards. We’re going to be receiving a donation from a sister Branch towards the hampers. At the other end of the building will be a Wine & Cheese and Silent Auction. I’m wanting to get away at 3pm to hear the Cantata at the church but that is a bit up in the air.
Last Monday I joined several thousand Canadians on bridges over the 401 from Trenton to Toronto waiting in a frigid wind to pay our respects to three fallen Canadians and their families. Last night as the day was winding down, news broke that three more Canadians have been killed in Afghanistan. If they return home on Tuesday I’ll not be able to attend the bridge, but if Monday or Wednesday, I’ll be putting aside what I’m doing and going up regardless of the weather.
This coming week, the room where I’ll be doing presentations today will be a hive of different activity. All the activities normally on in the banquet room during the week have been brought to a halt for the room to be turned into an assembly area for Christmas hampers. The hampers go out to low income earners in our community. Groups, organizations, churches and individuals in the community contribute to the hampers with food, gifts, knit items and money so these families can have a little brighter Christmas.
Any money left after the hampers are completed is used in the coming year to help keep the local food bank running. In these days of ‘charities’ loaded with admin costs, we’re proud to say that the only ‘admin’ for our Community Services account is the bank charges paid each month. All donations to the fund is used in the community.
While it is a tiring, hectic week when we’re also preparing for our own Christmases… the dedicated volunteers wouldn’t be anywhere else. It’s our reminder of what the season is all about.