Noelle’s Gift is continuing to aid Sarnia-Lambton students as it finds new ways to raise funds during a pandemic.
The charity has already given $1.5 million to schools and assisted 22,000 students in the process, said Michele Stokley, a committee partner.
“It is in the mandate that we will keep doing what we can to fundraise and to keep up with the demands,” she said of the volunteer-run non-profit, which pays for breakfast and nutrition programs, activities, and specific student needs.
Noelle’s Gift was created to honour the memory of schoolteacher Noelle Paquette, who was murdered on New Year’s Eve 2013.
The charity embodies the spirit of Paquette, who always did what she could personally to ensure her students had what they needed, Stokley said. The money raised is given to the school board and distributed among schools for programs and student needs as identified by staff.
“(Noelle) always wanted to make sure that no kids would go without, so she would bring in extra lunches and help them out with whatever they needed,” Stokley said.
After pandemic restrictions cancelled three major fundraisers, Noelle’s Gift has reinvented it annual Gala, typically held the last Saturday in January.
The Gala is now a brunch for four delivered to your front door, Stokley said. The ‘Personal Bubble’ brunch basket includes champagne, glasses, orange juice, scones, muffins and quiche. It also includes a draw ticket for a $5,000 prize package of local gifts and gift certificates.
“In 2019 we didn’t know what a personal bubble was, but we sure do now,” Stokley said with a laugh.
Gift baskets are $125, and available online at noellesgift.ca under “events.”
Delivery is available, or baskets can be picked up at the Big Family Brewing Company, 485 Harbour Road, Sarnia. Brunch basket orders can be made online until Jan. 8 and includes a $40 charitable tax receipt.