The Hands-On Committee reports successful completion of Toy Room Project at Emergency Housing Shelter

All Kiwanis Club of Ottawa members are invited to come and celebrate the culmination of a successful project that will make many children happy.

These children live in a RMOC Emergency Housing Shelter that gives homeless families temporary refuge. On Saturday, May 8, the Committee will give presents to over 60 children who live at this old converted school in Mechanicsville. Background: About half the children are Canadian, whose parents have come to Ottawa from other parts of Canada and the other half are refugees from war-torn areas of the world. They came with only what they could carry and most often this did not include toys.

The RMOC provides them with the bare necessities. The shelter does have a toy room but there is no allotment in the budget for toys. Enter the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa!

Through our contact with the”Reading is Fundamental Program” (RIF) Program at the Connaught School, we discovered this need. We could barely believe our eyes! Over 60 children living in a building without an outdoor play area and an empty shell they call a play room! The work began. The call went out for help from our very own Bill Harsh at a luncheon in March.

What transpired is truly a testament to the miracle of Kiwanis. Ross Hadwen got the ball rolling by donating three sets of shelves to store the toys and the committee set out to assemble them along with a TV, VCR and a radio generously donated by Jennifer Rae.

Members of this committee who were actively involved in this particular project are Wayne Beaudoin, Bruce Brooks, Guy Desnoyers, Ross Hadwen, Bill Harsh, Bob Horlick, Jennifer Rae and Bob Vergette. We received donated toys and games from Barry Nicholds, John Klatt, Les Morin and John O’Neil.

A most generous donation of $500 was received from Tom Assaly. This donation allowed us to purchase more toys for the children. Major Cliff Hollman was instrumental in contacting Toy Mountain who donated dozens of toys and in addition introduced us to two woment who buy returned goods from Toys-R-Us., repair them and sell them at a fraction of their retail value. With Tom Assaly’s donation, we bought a truckload of toys! And now it is time to give out the toys!

You are invited to join us in the fun. We will have a BBQ at the rear of the shelter on Saturday, May 8, 1999, from 12:00 to 2:00 pm. Local politicians and press will be in attendance

The shelter is located at 159 Forward Avenue. (1 street east of Parkdale, north of Scott Street).

For more information, call Bill Harsh at 860-3962.