Busy warehouse elves prepare for holiday in Caledon

  • Canned Food

Caledon Enterprise
By Terra Ciolfe

Volunteers man the CCS Santa Fund warehouse.

Local residents volunteer their time to pack up Coors Light boxes full of donations such as food and clothing to give away to families in need this holiday season.

When Rob Simeon first started volunteering with Caledon Community Services, it was for its Santa Fund program.

That was seven years ago.

Now, he runs the warehouse.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said in reference to his local volunteerism coming full circle. “I knew it was a pretty big operation, but I didn’t know it was this huge.”

“While he is technically – in charge,” he said the position is typically filled by someone different each year, so in reality it’s the volunteers who run the show.

“They’re the experts, for sure,” he said modestly, noting that it’s the volunteers that show up year after year he looks to for suggestions.

Throughout his years volunteering and working with Caledon Community Services, Simeon has gotten to know a lot of the families in the Caledon area and interacted with a number of the organization’s clients.

“It’s not always a joyful day when they are picking up stuff here, but we try to make it fun and exciting,” he said, also noting that the services are always confidential. “It’s tough because you can’t understand what they are going through.”

A lot of people don’t realize that there are people in Caledon who need a little extra help around the holiday season.

And that’s one of the greatest challenges the organization faces when trying to fundraise every year.

“In Caledon you don’t see it,” he said, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. “It’s kind of a shock sometimes to see it.”

This year the Santa Fund was set up in a warehouse just off of Highway 50 in Bolton and has numerous volunteers come out to give their time to the cause.

For five-year volunteer Heather Travers, it’s not about the time; it’s about a greater sense of purpose.

“We love living here in Caledon so we want to give back to the community,” she said.

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