A cold walk for the hungry, hurting and homeless



Open Arms Mission will host its second annual Coldest Night of the Year walk at the end of the month.

The walk held across Canada is hosted by and to benefit a local community-based charity.

“Coldest Night of the Year is a wonderful walk that is nationwide and it is to address the hungry, the hurting and the homeless across Canada,” said Jeff Aitken, pastor and mission centre manager.

The walk will feature two-, five- and 10-kilometre-long courses. Aitken said the best part of the walk — on top of raising much needed money — is that people walk alongside the clients of Open Arms Mission.

“It’s also a place where they can actually rub elbows, understand their needs, understand what it’s like,” Aitken said. “It helps people to instead of having sympathy to now have a sense of empathy.

“It goes from a ‘me’ and ‘them’ to a ‘we.’”

The walk takes place Saturday, Feb. 20, and will start and finish at Welland Community Wellness Complex on Lincoln Street. Registration starts at 4 p.m., there will be an opening ceremony at 5 p.m. and the walk will begin at 5:15 p.m.

Aitken said people can register online, at Open Arms Mission or on the day of the event.

“Last year’s numbers just shocked me and this year I think we’re going to have that again,” he said of a high turnout.

For more information and to register, visit http://www.coldestnightoftheyear.org/location/welland.


Source: Welland Tribune


Notre Dame students clean Welland Canal


Notre Dame students participated in a canal cleanup along the Welland Canal on Thursday as part of the EcoSchools club. Grade 11 student Dena Atallah puts a piece of garbage in a garbage bag while Grade 12b student Destiny Lacasse watches on Thursday November 5, 2015 in Welland, Ont. Michelle Allenberg/Welland Tribune

Full article: http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2015/11/05/notre-dame-students-clean-up-the-welland-canal

Hope Centre undergoes major renovations at new site thanks to CTFS employees


On September 24, 2015 the entire Canadian Tire Financial Services management team put a little extra elbow grease into their workday. They spent the day volunteering their time and skills to renovate and transform the new home of The Hope Centre.

About 120 managers, APVs and VPs donated 720 hours to create garden beds; assemble a gazebo, shed, picnic tables and benches; lay new stones and sod outdoors, as well as carpeting indoors; paint indoors and outdoors, and fix parking curbs. The team also donated and sorted food, and helped set up the shelving for the new food bank space. Lastly, 20 new bicycles were assembled for children who attend the centre.

Full article and many more photos at myWelland here: http://www.mywelland.com/articles/ctfs-leaders-invest-day-hope-centre

Coworking Space, Studio, Daycare & Cafe coming to Downtown Welland

Note: This post was copied from the source: http://thetribeatwise.com/door-keys-work-exchanges-and-the-grand-opening-of-wise/ by author and Owner, Jay Kalryzian.



There were times I feared this moment would never come, when I wanted to throw my arms in the air and go get a job down at Canadian Tire. But we soldiered on, pushing and prodding and calling in favours. We changed real estate agents three times. We negotiated and we renegotiated. We made offers and we rejected offers and we thought about quitting a million times.

I’m writing you today with keys in hand.
We’ve created something incredible – a flexible working space that includes daycare, a place to get great grub and proper coffee, a place to meet clients, a place to catch the occasional Qi Gong or Yoga class, and much more. Above all, it’s a place for Welland. It’s for independants, small businesses, entrepreneurs and families. It’s for you.


Over the next few weeks we’ll be knocking down walls, ripping up carpet and beautifying our space. This is your chance to make the space your own, to voice your opinion on the best colour for the boardroom (yeah, we have one of those), the best furniture layout, and whether or not desks should face the front window or the waterfront (we have one of those, too).

We need skilled people, but mostly we need willing people. And we’re not asking you to work for free. For every hour you put in, we’ll give you a $10 credit toward hot desk space. You can check out our pricing online, but 12 hours of work will get you a month of unlimited hot desk space, and 5 will get you one day a week. Contact Jay if you’re interested in banking hours, and he’ll accommodate as many of you as I can.

Here’s what needs doing now:

  • Demolition
  • Painting
  • Cleaning
  • Beautifying, including a sign to be hung on East Main

We also need couches, desks and office furniture in good condition. If you have something to donate or sell at a good price, please contact Jay.


We’ve just launched a brand new website, with all the information about our residents, partners and affiliates. It’s a work in progress, but the fundamentals are there. Come visit our table at the Welland Food Festival, and take a peek in the window on your way over.

Know someone who might be a good fit? Anyone who works at home from a computer, even once per week, will love our space. Permanent desks are available for people who work on desktop computers, like to leave lots of papers about, or just plain need them.

Forward this email. Pass out Jay’s number or email. Stop by the Food Festival and grab a flyer. Visit the cafe. Drop your kids off at the Learning Curve and enjoy a child-free time getting work done.

Listen up, people. It’s real and it’s happening. Let’s make sure that Welland knows.

Donations pour in after community library set ablaze


The Little Free Library that was ruined in an act of arson Tuesday morning has been re-established, thanks to a flood of donations that have come in since from the community.

So many donations have come in, in fact, that it’s estimated the free community library – located at Welland’s Guerrilla Park – has grown to about three times its original size, said James Takeo, one of the community members who has worked to maintain and beautify the area along the canal.

“To me, it’s a testament to one of the biggest assets of this community,” said Takeo, “The resilience of its citizens to overcome in the face of adversity.”

Among those offering donations was Laurie Richards, owner of Hannelore Headley Old and Fine Books located in St. Catharines.

As a book lover herself, and a fan of Little Free Libraries, Richards said she found it “pretty crappy” that someone would vandalize one.

“Why would anyone do that totally senseless vandalism?” Richards asked. “It’s destroying someone’s potential to travel afar in their mind.”

Richards said that she was inspired to donate to the library after reading Wednesday’s Tribune article on the fire.

“It’s community helping community,” she said, “We get a chance to pay this forward, and that’s amazing.”

The organization behind the Little Free Library movement also contacted The Tribune to see if there was anything it could do to help. Kris Huson, director of marketing and communications at the Hudson, Wis., based organization said she was glad to hear that the Little Free Library had received so many donations already.

She said the organization often sees cases like this, where an act of vandalism leads to the community coming together in support of the boxes.

“Out of the ashes comes a bigger, and better, Little Free Library,” Huson said.

Takeo said that the donations have all been appreciated, but at the time Welland’s free library is mostly in need of more waterproof bins for the books.

Takeo said donations can be dropped off either at his studio on West Main St. or at the BLX studio at the Seaway Mall in care of Wendy McIntyre.

He said more than anything, if people want to help they should just go visit the park and spend some time there.

Welland firefighters responded to the call at Guerrilla Park at 2:22 a.m Tuesday. Deputy chief Brian Kennedy said the fire was small, contained to the mini fridge and extinguished almost instantly.

Just under an hour later, at 3:04 a.m., a second call came in for a dumpster fire at 12 King St., behind the post office on Division St.

Although the fire was contained, Kennedy said, the dumpster was full of waste, giving the fire plenty of fuel. Firefighters were on scene for about 50 minutes.

Both incidents are cases of vandalism, Kennedy said.

Story and photo by Welland Tribune.


Community rallies around Welland woman hurt in crash


When crash victim Sandra Douglas leaves medical care and returns to her Welland home, she’ll find immaculate gardens having been lovingly tended to by friends and family.

The 40-year-old continues to recover at Shaver Hotel Dieu Rehab Centre in St. Catharines following a harrowing May 28 hit-and-run at Southworth St. and Ontario Rd. that left her with injuries that included a broken collarbone, two broken ribs and a punctured lung, and three fractured vertebrae. She is still being monitored for brain injury.

A 57-year-old Welland man is charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm and fail to stop at the scene of an accident.

Douglas lost her dogs in the four-vehicle crash, when the rear of her 2003 Toyota Echo was crumpled like an accordion. Both dogs were about six years old: Syressa, a border collie terrier mix, and Sasha, a great Pyrenees. Both were rescue dogs.

Just blocks from home, she had been on her way to the canal to walk her faithful canines.

It’s a tragic tale that weighs heavily on the minds of Douglas’s close-knit co-workers at Community Living St. Catharines’ Northwood House group home for adults with disabilities.

Paula Whittaker, who has worked with Douglas for several years, decided to rally family and friends for a garden makeover at the Bradley Ave. home Douglas moved into in March 2014 with partner Jack Musiala.

A memorial spot for Douglas’s dogs was created among the greenery.

“When something like this happens, you’re desperate for ways to help, Whittaker said Friday among a busy crew of volunteers that pulled metre-tall weeds among shrubbery and perennials, and cultivated a small plot of vegetables.

The garden reno, Whittaker said, “seemed like a good idea.”

“Sandra loves her gardens, she loves being outside.”

Also pitching in were Duncan’s children, Sydney, 8, and Evan, 17, and stepson Aiden, 11.

“When she gets back, she can relax,” Aiden said.

Stacy Maguire is hoping her older sister will be able to return home within the next week. Douglas was airlifted to Hamilton hospital after the crash, was returned to Welland hospital, and since June 15 has been recuperating at Shaver.

“This was supposed to be her summer project,” Maguire said of the gardens while choking back an impulse to cry. “Obviously, she can’t do it, so we’re here.”

Plants and mulch were donated to the friendly effort by Vermeer’s Garden Centre and Flower Shop and Botanix Rice Road Greenhouses.

Friends have also been supporting Douglas and her family through an online fundraising campaign at GoFundMe: “Help for Sandra and her Family.” Its goal of raising $5,000 to help offset expenses while she heals, including to afford child care, has already been broken.

But that’s not where the support ends.

Moved by Douglas’s tragedy, Welland and District Humane Society donated to her another rescue dog. The eight-month-old golden retriever shepherd mix is named Sylas, his name a nod to Syressa.

Article from Welland Tribune.