VETS Canada’s First Annual Operation Holiday Helping Hands – A Great Success!
VETS Canada’s First Annual Operation Holiday Helping Hands on 10 December 2016 was a monumental success! The coast to coast event featured VETS Canada Volunteers serving meals at shelters and drop-in centres across the country, paired with the challenge to all Canadians to give a Holiday Helping Hands and volunteer with shelters in their communities.
“At VETS Canada, we especially understand how important it is provide a hand up to those in need,” says Jim Lowther, VETS Canada’s President and CEO. “As the Holidays draw near, it is easy to forget the fact that thousands of individuals across our country are struggling to stay fed and stay warm. This national initiative will hopefully encourage some much needed dialogue and volunteering to address the ongoing issue of homelessness and food insecurity amongst Canadian Veterans and civilians.”
As part of Operation Holiday Helping Hands, VETS Canada’s Ottawa Team conducted their monthly Boots on the Ground Walk – except this month’s walk was extra special; it was the first anniversary of the team completing monthly walks.
Three Veterans were located during Ottawa’s anniversary walk; one was immediately moved into temporary lodging and the other two chose to stay in the shelter but accepted the offer from volunteers to help them implement a plan for the way ahead. The local Cadet Corp brought blankets, jackets, juice boxes and granola bars, and the Montgomery Legion put together care packages – items that brought comfort to those on the streets.
VETS Canada was also honoured to have numerous special guests attend the Ottawa Boots on the Ground Walk as part of Operation Holiday Helping Hands:
*MP Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change;-Brig-Gen. *Dave Corbould, Commander of the Joint Personnel Support Unit along with RSM Sylvestre;
*Séan McCann, our Guitars for Vets National Ambassador and founding member of Great Big Sea;
*MP Karen McCrimmon, one of our biggest supporters. Karen has become an honorary volunteer and is certainly a champion for our cause.