SABA talks Christmas giveaways in South Algonquin

·3 min read

In their Nov. 5 newsletter, the South Algonquin Business Alliance told its subscribers about some Christmas giveaways they were supporting with the South Algonquin Politics Facebook page, administered by SABA member Loretta Neil. This page gives residents who are members an avenue to voice concerns, opinions and ideas regarding the municipality. There is a myriad of giveaways they intend to do for those less fortunate this Christmas and they are currently looking for donations from the community. Anyone interested in making a donation or helping out can email Neil at

In SABA’s Nov. 5 newsletter, Pollak told subscribers that as a way of saying thank you to the community’s enthusiasm and good wishes for the past year they were supporting the South Algonquin Politics Facebook page on several Christmas giveaways. These will include stuffed stockings, stuffed purses, possibly a turkey bingo and two Christmas turkey dinner gift hampers to a family in Whitney and one in Madawaska.

Neil says that it’s been a busy time of year with the holidays quickly approaching, but that her fundraising efforts through the South Algonquin Politics Facebook page are encouraging. She says that Pollak and her business Four Corners Algonquin has donated 24 Christmas stockings as well as the purses. Pollak says that she picked them up on sale at the end of the 2020 Christmas season in preparation for this year and have been holding on to them all year.

Neil says that last year with the help of SABA, she was able to do these Christmas giveaways through the month of December.

“I prepared goodie bags, baskets and gift cards. We played games, which I was able to have people engaged in conversation, have fun and of course win!” she says.

Neil says that with SABA being incorporated this year, it affords them the opportunity to give back.

“As we all know, COVID-19 has brought a lot of grief, stalled many plans and in general, detached people. I believe that keeping spirits lifted with a kind gesture, such as receiving a little something, perhaps winning a stocking and looking forward to draw times adds a sweetness that we all have craved,” she says.

With a couple of volunteers at the ready to help her out putting the stockings together and other tasks, Neil says now she needs content. They’ve decided this year to put together two Christmas hampers to give out to a family in both Whitney and Madawaska. She also has a wish list of items she would like to see donated for these giveaways; four turkeys, gifts cards from No Frills, Metro, Valu Mart, Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, gas cards, Tim Hortons, stocking stuffers for 24 stockings (both novelties and accessories), non-perishable food items for the hampers, toys for all age and gender demographics, and gift certificates for meals. Neil says that cash donations would also be welcome, as she would like to include, if possible, $200 in each Christmas hamper given out. Anyone interested in donating or helping out can email Neil at

“Everything is appreciated. This is a big undertaking,” she says. “The wish list, if it gets supported the way I hope, will make Christmas a little brighter for a few needy, well deserving families!”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times

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