WELLAND — Operation Win-Win-Win has raised “over $10,000” in donations, organizer Paul Turner said in e-mail correspondence this weekend.
The initiative, which partnered with Hope Centre, asked Welland residents for their support during Christmas season. It got underway December 1 and continued for most of the month.
Turner described the successful outcome as a win for the vulnerable, local restaurants and Welland.
He came up with Operation Win-Win-Win as a way to provide assistance to restaurants and at the same time offer a hand up to people in need. Restaurants are going through hard times because of the pandemic and protocols in place because of it.
When making donations to Hope Centre, contributors were asked which restaurant they would like to support by means of a gift certificate.
“Our local restaurants have been strong supporters and advocates for our city. We realize the COVID pandemic has been a strain on many and we are asking those (people) who are financially able to help out at this time,” are the words of a promotional announcement at the start of the campaign.
The gift certificates will be purchased by Hope Centre staff this week, then will be distributed to local residents the following week.
“To everyone who donated we expect nothing less from the wonderful people who live in Welland, cheers. On behalf of Welland, thank you so much,” Turner wrote in the e-mail, confident the generosity of local folks would shine through as it has on many other occasions.
If anyone missed making a donation to Win-Win-Win, late contributions can be arranged by calling 289-686-5260.
WELLAND — Operation Win-Win-Win is “going well”, Paul Turner said in a phone conversation.
Spearheaded by It’s All Welland Good, the Turner-conceived holiday season outreach had accumulated about $7,000 in donations by last Friday. It got underway December 1.
“The initial plan was to go hard a couple of weeks, go to the media to help raise money. Now we’re going to keep it going until Christmas.”
Acknowledging that “sometime we fly by the seat of our pants”, the always-upbeat and positive-thinking Turner said the duration of the campaign isn’t all that changed while it is in progress.
The original plan called for gift certificates to be distributed in time for Christmas but now it won’t be done until about the second week in January, he said.
That’s because there is a great outpouring of holiday-season largesse in our “great city”, he said, but once the calendar is turned to January, things are far different.
“January and February are tough times for the vulnerable and for many restaurants,” Turner said, explaining the delay in distribution to that later time.
He said he is confident Operation Win-Win-Win will raise $10,000 in donations, if not more, by closing time.
The initiative falls under It’s All Welland Good, a compassion and community feel-good umbrella pioneered by Turner 10 years ago. He has kept Its All Welland Good functioning, through his selfless role as the glue that holds it intact.
Who can forget the inaugural It’s All Welland Good night when speaker after speaker reminded a capacity audience of the positivity in our community, things we live with day after day but fail to recognize or value. It comes out of dormancy, when Turner deems necessary, through follow-up projects beneficial to local hearts, minds and souls.
This community activism — with the common good always serving as Turner’s guiding light — is not something new to him. You might say doing for others is the guy’s raison d’être.
I won’t go into detail about Operation Win-Win-Win, the accompanying graphic (above) does that so well. But I would like to say it’s definitely needed in these dreary, desperate times. What a great way to provide assistance to local restaurants and at the same time offer a hand up to people in need.
“Local restaurants and bars have so much goodwill when asked to support various things during the year,” Turner said. “Now it’s the community’s turn to offer them support.”
Two other outreaches to the needy need a light shone on them too.
One is Harvest Kitchen, which provided a sit down, hot meal from November through March since the late 1990s, when it started as Out of the Cold.
Now, due to pandemic protocols, Welland Harvest Kitchen is still providing meals but its volunteers deliver them to the program’s “friends”, said Mark McGill, who prefers that word to “clients”.
Meals are made by participating church groups, and others, then frozen in microwavable containers. Home deliveries are made every two weeks with 14 days worth of food portions, according to McGill, coordinator and successor to founding coordinator Rev. Bob Bond, who retired early in the year.
Anyone wishing to register or make a donation can call Holy Trinity Church, 905-734-3543.
McGill acknowledged support of the United Way, which provided a generous donation of $30,000 to help Harvest Kitchen continue operating.
And Holy Trinity Anglican once again is holding its annual Christmas Day Dinner for the needy, although it too will be via delivery to signed-up recipients.
In past years the dinner, on Christmas Day itself, was served up by parish volunteers and others in the parish hall. It is the only Christmas Day dinner offered in the community.