Surprise donations gleefully accepted

Sucker Creek Women’s Emergency Shelter accepts a cheque for $3,000 from the Iglesia Ni Christo Church of Christ – District of Edmonton on Oct. 30. Shelter director Darlene Moostoos, left, and reach-out co-ordinator Carol Hanlon, hold the cheque

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A food bank and a women’s shelter in the High Prairie region are grateful for generous donations of food and other items from a Filipino church organization.
The Sucker Creek Emergency Women’s Shelter received a $3,000 cheque, food, winter jackets and blankets from the Iglesia Ni Christo Church of Christ – District of Edmonton on Oct. 30.
At the same time, the High Prairie and District Food Bank accepted 250 boxes of food and hygiene items from the church district that covers churches from all over northern Alberta.
Donations were presented at the High Prairie Legion to celebrate Worldwide Aid to Humanity Day on Oct. 31, the birthday of the first executive member of the Church of Christ, based in the Philippines.
Shelter director Darlene Moostoos says the organization is delighted to receive the donations.
“It makes for an early Christmas for the women and children at the shelter,” Moostoos says.
“It’s overwhelming that they gave us these donations.
“We are so grateful for the Church of Christ to recognize our women’s shelter and donate food, jackets, blankets and funding.”
The organization donated 255 bags of food and hygiene items to the shelter and another 255 to those in need in the High Prairie area.
Moostoos says the shelter has 21 beds, although it has been operating at half capacity since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020.
Food bank society president Cliff Nafziger also says the food is greatly appreciated to help the food bank meet the growing need during the pandemic.
“When COVID-19 hit, we looked at each other and thought, ‘Now what?’” Nafziger says.
“Surprisingly, we were approached by organizations that we had never received anything from before and were offered grants that we didn’t have to search for.”
It has helped the food bank so much.
“So we’re grateful to be able to carry on even with higher demand for our services,” Nafziger says. “Prior to COVID, we limited clients to two hampers in six months.
“The needs now are more extreme, so we opted to offer one per month.”
High Prairie Councillor Donna Deynaka also thanked the organization for the donations.
“On behalf of the Town of High Prairie, we express our appreciation to what the Iglesia Ni Cristo or Church of Christ has done today,” Deynaka said during a short service to celebrate the day.
“Through the Aid to Humanity, you have truly helped us and the people of High Prairie.”
Slave Lake church minister Brian Tacneng says the organization is pleased to bless the High Prairie community.
“We’re always trying to give back to the community as much as we can,” says Tacneng, who also serves the High Prairie community that has 13 members.
“We talked to groups who could use it, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s good to help as many people as we can.”
Event spokesman Thom Likness says the organization serves areas where it has members, such as High Prairie.
“Church members believe it’s their duty to share the blessings they’ve received, spiritual or material,” Likness says.
“The key is we do these outreaches to non-members.”

High Prairie and District Food Bank Society accepted 250 boxes donated from the Iglesia Ni Christo Church of Christ – District of Edmonton on Oct. 30. Standing, left-right, are assistant district minister Paquite Ibanez, food bank society president Cliff Nafziger, Town of High Prairie Councillor Donna Deynaka and district minister Voltaire Tamisin.

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