There are only two ladies leading the charge but they have lots of ammunition behind them. They are bringing hope and joy to many, especially over the Christmas season.Penny Jamieson and Janice Wilson are the founders of Power of HOPE (Helping Other People Everyday). They do tons of work getting goods for Christmas baskets but that is the seasonal rush. They also work during the rest of the year keeping young moms, men without homes and abused women, in pajamas, toiletries, and other items. At the moment they are dealing with the Christmas rush. Many families do not have the means to provide toys for their children. They can't even keep food in their homes. So for some children what HOPE provides is the only Christmas gifts the children receive. Penny said there is groups looking for HOPE to supply these gifts with so many in need with the current economy. The need for gifts and packages has grown two-fold since last year. Although Penny and Janice had requests last year, those requests have doubled or worse. Penny said several groups have asked for much more than other years. But the donations have not kept pace. She said she is sad to have to turn down some of the requests. But she has no choice. The project has outgrown both Penny and Janice's homes. They have been fortunate to have a local church group donate a space to use, at least temporarily. This space has been a Godsend. The items they have collected have filled the donated space, which is the size of a single-family home. The donation requests have grown, and the two ladies can't fill all the requests. They're doing their best in Wellington County, but groups from outside Wellington have been putting in requests as well. Some of the items collected end up in Stratford and Cambridge, but both communities also contribute towards HOPE.This year HOPE has received more than 2,000 donated stuffed animals. Some are new; some are "gently used." There are groups that do not want "gently used" items, and she and Janice have to determine what to send them. Some get nothing, because it is hard for Penny and Janice to get just new items when it comes to toys. …… please read more in this week's Arthur Enterprise News.
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