Bales for the North - Ottawa - the end of an era

 

For over a century, Anglican women have been sending bales to the north of Canada. 

The Anglican Church Women of the Diocese of Ottawa sent bales to Fort Chipewyan, Alberta; Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Inuvik, Sachs Harbour, Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories;  Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Iqaluit, Pangnirtung and Pond Inlet, Nunavut. 

 

 

Dear Friends,

Time to Wind Down Bales for the North

We are writing with a heavy hearts, considering the situation with the Pandemic and our present days of “lockdown” that we are experiencing.

 

We have given considerable deliberation to the actual continuation of the Bale program, but Leslie and I have realized that the Ottawa Bales to the North project has come to its natural end, considering the COVID crisis, the aging of our congregations and the availability of online shopping, even in the north. 

 

Writing this in February, with the vaccine roll-out still sluggish, we would expect that even by April/ May of this year, our Diocese will still be requiring the rigid RED or AMBER protocol for churches, which would automatically preclude us being able to gather to pack Bales in our regular fashion!

 

We realize that many parish ACW groups have kept the goods that were ready to be packed in 2020 and the question now is, “what are we going to do with them”? 

 

We have a couple of suggestions:

There are many places in your own communities that would be more than happy to receive your contributions of goods or money, including the Ottawa Mission Centre 454 or a local refugee resettlement group.

If you decide to pack your own box for the north, we can help.  We are prepared to provide the necessary boxes, packing equipment and labels, to support a Parish or Deanery group. Then a small number of people can gather the items in one place to pack the boxes and send them off. Last year, a 4 cu ft packing box filled to 39lbs, cost $120 to send to Iqaluit, for example. Smaller boxes hold less and cost just as much, so please be prudent about the box size.

Some groups may have more goods than money for this project.  But since the groups have generously donated to Bales for so long, our Diocesan money can continue to be spent, for this, the final year.  

In the past few years, we have mailed to 13 communities yearly, so we would suggest that if you write Leslie, she will give you the proper mailing address for one community.  That way, between the groups, we keep the mailings even.    

Please give consideration to these suggestions and let us know what your thinking is and how you would like to proceed.  acw@ottawa.anglican.ca

 

This is not the way we envisioned drawing our wonderful Bales Program to a conclusion, but we both feel that a decision has to be made sooner rather than later.

 

Money for Fair Share or the Bishops Discretionary Fund or Bales for the North can be sent to        

Leslie Worden,   59 Dalecroft Cres. Nepean, ON K2G 5V7.                                                                    

She will acknowledge your gift, then forward it to the Diocese.

 

Blessings on each of you, and for each group.

 

Marni and Leslie,

acw@ottawa.anglican.ca