A spirit of generosity and care

Megan jonesChaplain’s Corner

Padre Megan Jones

I have noticed in the past few months a common conversation which I am having all over the Wing. People are consistently asking a similar question – How can I help? There is a real desire to find ways to help out, whether it’s through volunteering, donations or charity events. All over our Wing people are stepping forward and looking for ways to give a little more and take care of each other. This year has been a difficult one for many. COVID-19 has turned our world upside-down and there are those in our community who are struggling; whether it’s with finances, feelings of isolation and loneliness or anxiety. So, in light of this generous and caring spirit, I thought I would pass on a few ways to volunteer and help out the Wing and the Cold Lake community:

1. Help out with the 4 Wing Christmas Hamper Campaign and the Angel Tree Program. Starting on November 12, unit OPIs will be asking for food donations that will be packed into hampers to go to families in need on the Wing. On November 17th, keep an eye out for the Angel Tree at the CANEX mall. The tree will be decorated and have information on how you can purchase a gift for an anonymous child. Participants are asked to bring their purchased gift, unwrapped, to the Chaplain’s office.

2. Volunteer with our MFRC. The MFRC has been working hard to offer various morale boosters throughout COVID-19. These activities and events, such as Storytime with Santa and the Drive-Thru Pumpkin Patch, would not be possible without a dedicated team of tireless volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the MFRC at 780-594-6006.

3. Put together a fundraising event for your squadron or section and donate the proceeds to a local charity. There are plenty of fantastic, charitable organizations in our community. There is the Padre’s Benevolent Fund (yes, I know, it’s a shameless plug) which provides funds to support Wing members and their families in times of unexpected financial need. There is also the Lakeland Humane Society, the Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre (an emergency shelter for women and children), Kokum’s House (currently fundraising to rebuild the homeless shelter), Valour Place, Solider On and so many others.

4. Food and monetary donations are always welcome at the Cold Lake Food Bank. You can arrange a donation drop-off by calling 780-201-6589.

5. COVID-19 is making it difficult from many to travel home to see family over the holidays. If you know anyone in your section or squadron who may be alone over the holidays, invite them over for a holiday meal, drop off a care package or give them a call to see how they are doing.

6. Become a unit Sentinel. Sentinels are a volunteer, peer support team, who offer colleagues a listening ear and assist those who may be struggling to get the help they need. If you are interested in becoming a Sentinel speak to your Unit Padre.

At a time when we are dealing with angst, fear and disruption in our lives, it is tempting to focus on the negative. But instead, I find hope and comfort knowing there are people all around me who are stepping up, helping out and taking care of each other. Blessings, Padre Jones.

megan.jones@forces.gc.ca