November 12, 2018

BY RILEY LINSEMAN

The 2016 Galaxy of Gifts crafts show was a very special one. It had a small venue, but a big heart. Held at the Luther Village on the Park retirement home on Nov. 26, the event featured approximately 40 vendors selling everything from Christmas wreaths to baked goods.

The event also gave residents an easy alternative to the more cumbersome and potentially dangerous option of leaving the retirement home to do their Christmas shopping. And there was nothing stopping family from coming and visiting them either. Everyone was also invited to a barbecue lunch.

This year was the second time the fundraiser was held. Knowing that her Galaxy of Gifts fundraiser is still kind of small compared to those held by other organizations, co-organizer Christine Siopiolosz said she likes to keep her goal reasonable. Each year, a goal of $1,000 was set, and met. All profits come from the vendor tables because admission is free. But there was also food and drinks available for a price.

Galaxy of Gifts, the “small-big fundraiser,” is so called because of its environment. It’s a small fundraiser because of the humble goal and size of the venue, which is just one room in the retirement home. But Siopiolosz and co-organizer Debbie Sarre were able to help their volunteers set up 44 tables throughout this room for the vendors.

The vendors’ products came in a huge variety and included toiletries such as lotion, bubble bath and lip balm. One vendor was selling special “sugar tree” Christmas treats and another vendor was selling a beautiful selection of vibrantly coloured flowers and plants.

The biggest beneficiary of this event was Lutherwood themselves. Lutherwood is a non-profit organization that helps the community by providing mental health, employment, housing and family services.

They run a youth shelter and provide schooling and counselling for those suffering from mental health issues. They also provide a range of employment services and help people look for their own homes. And finally, they have their own Child and Family Foundation which raises over $1 million each year for Lutherwood’s community work.

If you want to help support them, you can donate at lutherwood.ca. If you want to learn more, why not attend one of their events? Visit lutherwood.ca/events for event details.

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