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St. Pat’s canvassers ready for an ‘Irish Miracle’ this Saturday

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Tara Jeffrey

Students from St. Patrick’s High school are heading back to the streets for the 39th annual Irish Miracle this Saturday, Dec. 3.

“I am beyond ecstatic for the event to be fully returning back to normal,” said Grade 12 student Annabelle Rayson, co-chair of the Irish Miracle Committee. “It is such an important event for our school and greater community and really helps to build the holiday spirit.”

The annual food drive for the St. Vincent de Paul Society went virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, collecting online donations for the Christmas food hamper program, and last year, added a drive-through component.

This year, canvassers are returning to neighbourhoods across Sarnia, Bright’s Grove and Point Edward, going door-to-door collecting donations of non-perishable food items and hygiene products between 9 a.m. and 12 noon. Items can also be left on the front porch.

All donations are brought back to St. Pat’s where volunteers will sort, box and deliver to the St. Vincent de Paul food bank on Davis Street.

St. Vincent de Paul food bank on Davis Street. (Troy Shantz file photo)

“It’s really important to us because, with the price of food, the increase in numbers and clients that are attending the food bank… it’s just crazy anymore,” said Sue Platt, who oversees the food bank. “And I think it’s just going to get worse.”

Some 700 applications for Christmas hampers have already come in, and that number is expected to keep climbing by Saturday’s deadline.

“We’re a little worried because we are expecting the numbers to be over 800,” she said.

“There’s people across the board, of all ages who need it these days, because everything is so expensive.

“There’s so many homeless — it’s just heartbreaking.”

Platt said they’ll be handing out gift cards for food and gifts through the Christmas hamper program this year.

“And then all of the Irish Miracle donations will come back to the food bank and help us get through until probably about March, is what we’re hoping,” she said. “That’s what sustains us to get through…It really does make a difference for sure.”

Online donations will also be accepted at ssvpsarnialambton.ca.
Anyone in need of a Christmas hamper can call 519-336-2323.

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