MWHA Christmas Caravan 50th Anniversary!
To be able to celebrate any 50th Anniversary is very special and on December 10th, we celebrated that occasion for our annual Christmas Caravan! Who would have thought that a small community such as Markland Wood could continue its tradition of collecting food and clothing for local charities for all these years? Over the decades, we have seen many changes with many new volunteers. We have said goodbye to those that have moved away (even though some come back just for Caravan) and others that have passed away. As we met at the plaza, we took a moment to reflect.
On the morning of Caravan, the transport truck was loaded up early with the pre-taped boxes that were assembled on previous Friday night, and we headed down to the Plaza to meet and reacquaint with the volunteers ready to help. No one knows for sure what the weather would be like and we sure had a mixed bag over the years. Subzero, “watch for frost bite”, above seasonal “let’s change to short sleeve shirts and put on sunscreen” to one year when we had a foot of snow and we’d only been at it for a couple of hours. We’ve been very fortunate with the weather conditions and never had a heavy rain. Regardless of what the day, Caravan is and was always a go! We suffered a little when we know our donations help so many.
Caravan left the Markland Wood Plaza at around 9:00 a.m. and collected on the north side of Bloor and then went on the south side in the afternoon and we finished collecting around 3:30 p.m. You may have heard us coming down your street as we herald our approach. You came out and say hello and Santa did his best to see all of the kids...
This year we had big trucks, little trucks, fire trucks, police cruisers, Mounted Police and dozens of helper Elves. It was quite a sight to see as we wound down every street. As we loaded your donations into the tractor trailer, everything was sorted and repacked. At the end of the day we unload the hundreds and hundreds of boxes into my garage ready for the charities to pick up on Monday morning. Our charities for non-perishables are:
The Brothers of the Good Shepherd,
The Scott Mission,
Daily Bread Food Bank
Salvation Army had a separate cube-van for clothing.
All cash donations were forwarded to The Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund.
Watch exciting scenes and interviews from the 2017, 50th Christmas Caravan video below:
(Above: 50th Christmas Caravan 2017 video)
We are always very excited to be able to help so many. Caravan continues to be a very big part of our Markland Wood community and will always continue through your generous donations.
Caravan is a tradition not only for my family, friends and neighbours and alos a tradition for the residents of Markland Wood. Thank you very much for help and contributions! If you would like further information, please feel free to contact me Georgina Balascas, MWHA President.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
MWHA Christmas Caravan Chair