A Message from Executive Director

Cathy Ashby

House of Lazarus has had an ex-ceptional year building community through new community part-nerships and sharing hope through the new programs that we have been able to offer. Our Dinner on the House program, a weekly community meal, is a great example of building commu-nity with more than 3,500 meals served in our first year.

A partnership with Ken Boje from BMR Winchester increased our Project Warmth program, where we handed out window insulation kits to more than 100 families, and saw the establishment of the Heat for the Holidays program, where we distributed one month’s supply of compressed wood logs to 9 food bank families. A new partnership with the Kemptville Snowmobile Klub brought food and donations to our food bank. The community continues to bless our clients during the Christmas season: more than 121 families/ seniors were adopted and provided with gifts for each member of the family as well as a Christmas dinner. In partnership with Health Links, 18 of their fami-lies were given Christmas meals, mittens, toques, and blankets. And, 105 angel tree gifts were given to our food bank children.

I have enjoyed presenting the work of HOL to several communi-ty groups, including the Commu-nity Christian Reform Church in Dixon’s Corners, Knox Presbyteri-an Church in Mountain, Seaway Valley UCW Presbyterial, Seaway Valley UC Presbytery, St John’s United Church in Kemptville, Ot-tawa UCW Presbyterial in Vernon, and for Grade 10 stu-dents of the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.

Sandy Casselman presented to Cornwall Housing and Social Ser-vices, Mountain Lions Club and area senior day programs.

Connecting with the community is valuable as more people become aware of our programs, donate to our stores, become regular shop-pers and refer those in need. Several community minded peo-ple have come forward to offer their services to those in need, resulting in our Neighbours Help-ing Neighbours program.

Our Linking Hands program con-tinues to advocate for those in need in our community. This year we hosted a Basic Income Fo-rum, established a Welcome Dun-das program, and reviewed sev-eral housing models. We are ready to bring a new affordable housing project to our community: Places for People Dundas Coun-ty. Our Green Food Box program is the largest of its kind in SDG and Prescott-Russell.

The HOL team, which includes 18 employees, 9 board members and more than 100 volunteers, is the driving force behind it all. I witness the passion and the dedi-cation of the HOL team daily. Their commitment to this commu-nity is commendable. Their efforts ensure that programs continue and gaps in service are filled. I look forward to the coming year and its promises.