Markland Wood | Community Established in 1960

President's Update

Georgina Balascas

Happy New Year!,

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. It’s hard to believe that we are into another year! It certainly feels like time is speeding up!

At least it does to me. Do others feel the same way? Time flies….so they say!

First of all, I would like to thank Martin Ross and all the volunteers who came to help with our Annual Christmas Caravan in December. It was a great event and once again we witnessed the generous spirit of the Markland Wood community. We thank you for your contributions and we truly appreciate your response to the needs of others.

The MWHA has several issues that we are constantly monitoring. We usually communicate these to the community through email blasts. Markland Watch does an incredible job of informing us about some of these issues such as coyote sightings, car thefts, break-ins, etc.

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Christmas Caravan 2018

on Sunday, 16 December 2018.

MWHA Christmas Caravan 51th Anniversary!

Caravan 2018 was again a huge success due to the generosity of Marklanders, the dozens of volunteers, contributing companies and individuals. This year I tried a different way of organizing and packing the tons of donated food as a way of making it a little easier to pack, sort and re-sort for our recipients.

For over thirty years a few of us would normally meet in my garage on the Friday night prior to Caravan and tape hundreds and hundreds of boxes but we missed doing that this year as I was trying a different way of packing. This turned out to be a great way to do it and also allowed me much needed time to organize everything else. 

 

MWHA Christmas Caravan & Food Drive began in 1967On the morning of Caravan, supplies, cardboard bins, skids and packers were loaded on to the transport truck ready to go to the plaza. When we got to the plaza, dozens of volunteers were eagerly waiting.

 

MWHA Christmas Caravan & Food Drive continued in the 1970'sOn the morning of Caravan, supplies, cardboard bins, skids and packers were loaded on to the transport truck ready to go to the plaza. When we got to the plaza, dozens of volunteers were eagerly waiting.

 

Santa Clause rides in open convertible for MWHA Christmas Caravan & Food Drive in the 1970'sMuch to my surprise, we were met by two Metro Police cruisers, three OPP cruisers, fire truck and clothing truck. Unfortunately, we were delayed by 20 minutes or so welcoming everyone and organizing our entourage. The weather was perfect, spirits high and a great Christmas atmosphere.

Watch exciting scenes and interviews from the 2017, 50th Christmas Caravan video below:

(Above: 50th Christmas Caravan 2017 video)

Santa Clause give candy to Markland Wood children during MWHA Christmas Caravan & Food Drive in the 1980'sSanta Clause rides in Markland Wood Golf Club cart during MWHA Christmas Caravan & Food Drive in the 1980's

Our mid-morning break was well needed, and our lunch break was well deserved. We were kept busy as most houses had their donations ready and waited our arrival. At our lunch break at Bloordale United Church we rested up and met up some
new volunteers. We were ready to head out for our afternoon’s collections. At the end of the day we stopped for a group photo and most people came back to my place for a cold drink and congratulations all around. We did it, another successful Caravan!

With the donations tallied, over 18,000 tons of food was collected, $1,450.00 was donated (including a mystery person who drove up to meet us and donated $500.00) and two packed truck loads of clothes. All in one day, all by one caring community! Well done! For the fifty-one years that Caravan has run, there are many people and companies we must thank. Hats off to the following:

  • All the caring and helpful volunteers
  • My family and friends from North York, East Garafraksa, Islington, and Burlington and Mississauga
  • Toronto Police Services and Officers
  • Toronto Fire Services and crews
  • Silverthorn Collegiate for washroom permit
  • Bloordale United Church for lunchtime facilities
  • Collins and Greig for transportation services
  • Daily Bread Food Bank for skids and bins
  • Mandy Ardila for last minute flyer notices
  • Santa Claus and his special driver
  • Cardinal Meats for lunch donations
  • Morning and lunch break cooks and servers
  • Markland Golf and Country Club for golf carts

I’m always worried I have forgotten to thank someone and apologize if I did. Caravan is not about the accolades but for the feeling we all get for being able to help so many less fortunate. 

 

A Happy New Year to you all and my sincere thanks!
Martin Ross,
Christmas Caravan Chair

Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank Annual Report Page 9