MDI serves communities in many ways, often unheralded. For now though, let us be an inspiration for others to give, such as during the holiday times. Below are just a few examples.
Western Canada Region
This year was a year of many lessons and successes. The Western Canadian Region and our Ray Lowry Project raised money by providing and organizing volunteers for the Rocky Mountain Smoke out, and by hosting our annual Bewitching Santa Halloween Dance. With this money raised we spread happiness and hope to our community over the holidays. The Ray Lowry project raised just over $10,000 with the dance and the smoke out. We received another $4,000 in cash and hamper donations, thus allowing us to deliver 75 hampers to families in our community. Our largest year yet. Our context of serving happiness and delivering hope was fulfilled in spades.
For over 15 years the men of the Western Region have participated in ELF (Everyone Loves Family’s) as a community service project during the Christmas season. ELF provides the spirit, hope, and miracle of Christmas to disadvantaged families throughout the Bay Area. Three of our six divisions (Razors Edge, Mud, & West Bay) joined forces for ELF serving family’s from Sacramento / Walnut Creek / Fresno to Hayward / San Leandro to San Francisco. Sequoia serves families in the Napa / Sonoma area. Legacy supports the Walnut Avenue Women’s shelter serving Santa Cruz County, and OCB supports the Parsi House on the Hill serving Santa Clara County. Combined, the Western Region raised well over $35,000 and provided Christmas to hundreds of women and children throughout the greater Bay area.
Western Regional Coordinator
The San Diego Men’s Division holds very dear to our hearts an annual event called Serenity House. It was an honor that the men trusted me to be the PTM for this event. On the Night of December 20 we were able to create a special fun-filled evening for the women and children of Serenity House. The men were able to provide an atmosphere where the women felt safe, welcomed and cared for. For the dinner, the San Diego men prepared food out of their own kitchen and brought it to the site. We also invite Santa to stop by to bring presents to all the children in attendance. The night was capped off with dancing and karaoke for all to participate. As the event concluded I heard women express how grateful they were that we put this event on for them and how special they felt. It is an honor that I was able to stand in front of almost 100 women and children to let them know that there are men in the world who are not here to take advantage of them, but here to respect them for who they are as a person.
In the Big Stick Division, every holiday the men go as joint teams to a battered women’s shelter to nurture and serve them dinner. The men also provide a Santa Claus, gifts and entertainment for the children.
The region was definitely in the giving mood this holiday season.
Santa Visits Interim House (Dragon Slayers)
On Monday, December 22, Dragon Slayers delivered the annual Gift Giving Event at Interim Place, a shelter for abused women and children. By all accounts we were loved and well received. Gratitude goes to the men of Western Front and Abnaki for their most heartwarming kindness and generosity; the Region was also kind enough to donate $200 towards the shelter. This was much appreciated by the staff at Interim Place.
Soup Night at My Sisters Place (London Calling)
On December 23, the men of London Calling served hot soup and Christmas cheer at “My Sisters Place” a safe, supportive community for women facing homelessness.
Note for Picture (l to r): Patrick Calan, Ian Kennard, and Braden Kennard.
December 29 – Ray of Hope Dinner (All-In)
The Ray of Hope Community (RoH) Centre serves the physical, relational and spiritual needs of people who are experiencing homelessness and other disadvantages. On December 29 All-In assisted with feeding close to 200 men, women and children at the RoH facility in Kitchener. Thanks go to Western Front for its support at the raffle in December where its $200 in ticket purchases helped cover half our costs for this great event! Mike Galt led the event with an impeccable team supporting.
Note for Picture (l to r): Kaszowski, Mann (guest), Kay, Sa’d with wife Melissa, Galt, Johnston, Steffler, Lorraine (guest of Johnston), Dennis Baer with brother Dale. Taking picture is Dwight Baer.