Prepare to arrive to the Aurora's Santa Under the Stars parade route a bit early this Saturday, November 27, for music, hot chocolate, and a way to give back to local women and children in need.
Between 4 – 7 p.m., Chartwell Park Place, a retirement home on Yonge Street, will make the short drive north to Machell’s Alley, just south of Yonge and Wellington, ready to stuff their bus with toys, toiletries and gift cards for clients of Abuse Hurts, an organization which provides a helping hand to all those escaping violence at home.
“Abuse Hurts explained to us that they are down 30 per cent in donations this year, so as a member of the marketing team on the Aurora BIA (Business Improvement Association), we thought we could do a Stuff the Chartwell Bus for Abuse Hurts,” says Patti Smith, Retirement Living Consultant for Chartwell Park Place.
“They didn’t know how they were going to make up for some of the losses this year and we wanted to see if there was something we could do and they were just so excited and it just snowballed from there – and I am so excited!”
The biggest needs identified by Abuse Hurts have been new, unwrapped toys, toiletries, gift cards to help families pick up their own gifts, as well as gift cards to grocery stores and pharmacies like Shopper’s Drug Mart to help them make ends meet.
Since Chartwell and the BIA announced the initiative, they have already seen traction with local businesses and Chartwell residents and staff stepping up to get a head-start on raising money and collecting donations.
And live entertainment has been booked with the Celtic band The Flailing Shilaleighs.
It is so exciting we get to have a parade and I think this is just the perfect time to try and give back to the community,” says Ms. Smith, noting there is a rumour that Santa might drop by the event before the start of the parade at Orchard Heights Boulevard at 6 p.m.
“It is perfect timing because we get to have the parade, the BIA will be handing out hot chocolate, and it is a great time to give back. We hope the bus gets filled so we can take it back to Park Place and fill it up again even more!”
Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran