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After the community rallied around him and his family over the last two years, a Sidney man is doing what he can to give back.
Chris Wallace, father of Coen Wallace (3) who was born with non-functioning kidneys, decided last year to look for ways to give back to a community that supported his family through thick and thin.
“Since Coen has had a transplant and is healthy I looked back on all the support we got from the community and I wanted to give something back,” Chris said.
Chris works for the Town of Sidney in the Public Works department and utilized his connections to come up with a way to give back.
“I approached the Town and Beacon Community Services last year and we came up with an idea to help out families in need over Christmas,” said Chris.
Through their client connections, Beacon Community Services was able to provide Chris a list of families last December who were in need of a little help with gifts and essentials over the holidays.
“The response was crazy. People were so generous and the list that came from Beacon Community Services was eye opening,” Chris said, adding that among the recipients on last year’s list was an 18-year-old girl whose parents both died and she was left caring for her four siblings so they didn’t get separated in foster care.
“This is the sort of stuff that goes on right here in our community that no one knows about.”
“It feels so good to be able to help people who deserve to have a Christmas just like everyone else.”
In the first year, Chris and Beacon Community Services tackled three families and this year they’ve bumped the number up to four.
Items on the lists include a variety of items from small gifts and clothing items to essentials like toilet paper, toothpaste and diapers.
The Town of Sidney will help by posting a list of items the families need online at www.sidney.ca and accepting all the item donations to support the local families at the Sidney Tourist Information Centre on Beacon Avenue (items can be dropped off Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
Cash donations for the cause will be accepted at Sidney Town Hall during office hours (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
For more information and a full list of items needed, visit www.sidney.ca.