Project LOVECARING through the Mountjoy United Church
The mission of Project Love is to instill hope and comfort to anyone who walks through our doors by nourishing their bodies and encouraging their hearts with love, respect and dignity.
Local volunteers providing Monday suppers at Mountjoy United Church (202 Mountjoy St., S, Timmins). Our objective is to compliment other programs already in place assisting those who are homeless and / or hungry.
Project Love’s CARING Mission Statement
Created by our Strategic Planning Group February 2020
Immediately following our Strategic Planning exercise, our community was met by the Corona Virus and many of our elderly volunteers withdrew to protect their health and the health of those they care for. The few remaining were insufficient in numbers to carry on and closed our doors in March 2020. Four months later, armed with Public Health Unit guidelines and personal protective equipment, a small group of volunteers chose to reopen the kitchen and began serving Take Out suppers. We are reduced to one meal a week, Monday Supper while we rebuild our volunteer base. These are challenging times and we would be ruthless to think we are in charge of the future. Our Founders chose to retire from their work in June 2020. In their place a small Operating Committee formed with designated areas of responsibility and a commitment to each other and the people who come to supper. We are now preparing for Christmas 2020 which will look very different from past years where we held an all day Open House with full breakfast, lunch, treats, music, visiting and snoozing for those in need. COVID-19 means our doors will be closed on Christmas Day this year. We have reached out to participate in a Christmas Food Box program to ensure that our guests, if they have a home, will enjoy a Christmas dinner. For those who do not, some of us are available to assist Living Space with their event Dec. 25th
Project Love relies on donations of food and funds from the public to provide 150 to 200 supper meals per week as well as school lunches. Due to Public Health regulations and COVID-19 restrictions we are currently offering only Take Away meals.
Volunteers are our greatest resource and are given training for the work to be done. We encourage our guests to become involved for the purpose of job training, developing social skills and a sense of pride. We invite anyone who has a few hours to offer as there are a variety of jobs involved in feeding hearts and bellies; shopping, delivering, food preparation, assembling take out meals, screening, welcoming, distribution, cleaning, fund-raising, publicity, organizing and planning tasks. For more information come by to see us any Sunday1pm to 4pm or Monday 1pm to 6pm or call 705-531-2505 to talk about the possibilities. Every hour given is helpful and appreciated.
Donations are invited to Mountjoy United Church FOR Project Love in cheque form at 202 Mountjoy Street South, Timmins P4N 1T4 or may be given by e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify that the funds are for Project Love. We welcome all forms of assistance and acknowledge monetary donations with a tax deductible receipt at year end.
2021 is before us … and we are ready, willing and able. Keeping people fed is a fundamental task upon which we hope to build. Our goals set in the strategic plan last spring after articulating our Mission Statement, were to 1. Develop a culture of open and clear communication 2. Formulate an organizational structure with assigned responsibilities ( Kitchen Co-ordination, Volunteer Co-ordination, Church Liaison, Fundraising Co-ordination, Inventory / Maintenance Co-ordination and Committee Chairperson “orchestrator” ) 3. Engage more youth in our work for mutual growth 4. Clarify our purpose and boundaries. We are well on our way once again …. Come join us !!
Lynda Geddes, Committee Chairperson
Video recorded in 2018 (Pre-covid, hence no masks)
Volunteers have registered with Project Love over the past 4 years
Days of work are required behind the scenes each year to make project Love a success
Meals served in the past four years
Become a volunteer
From a desire to ease the hunger (both physical and emotional) of people in downtown Timmins, existing without a home or on the verge of losing one, Nicole Gillard and Melanie Chartier founded Project Love. From the very first formal commitment, they accepted the responsibility of providing two supper meals every week. With no location and no funds, a handful of volunteer/friends this was a daunting challenge. Four years later, 57,440 meals have been served along with countless School Lunches for children who came to supper. To date, there have been some 141 volunteers signed up who are a force to be reconned with; their enthusiasm and genuine love for making life just a little better for Project Love’s supper guests is nothing short of phenomenal.
How does this happen? Nicole Gillard, a retired elementary school teacher with organizational skills of the first order and a heart as big as herself partnered with Melanie Chartier, passionate social activist, once homeless herself. This unconventional partnership made the impossible, possible and moved our community to come ‘on board’ with gifts of food, funds, time and a lengthy list of generous supports.
For the first four years, they served upward of 200 meals a week and 25 to 30 school lunches out of the basement of Mountjoy United Church. Project Love is a non-denominational group which has been adopted as an “Outreach Program” by the small but committed congregation of Mountjoy United Church. All overhead costs are shared with the church and all manpower is volunteered by a group of young and old concerned citizens of Timmins.
202 Mountjoy St. South
Community Safety and Well Being Plan
“To achieve the ideal state of a sustainable community where everyone is safe, has a sense of belonging, opportunities to participate, access to services and where individuals can meet their needs for education, health care, food, housing, income and social and cultural expression”