East Hants youth collect for Caring & Sharing with reverse Advent calendar

ENFIELD: Instead of taking something for themselves from their Advent Calendar, six East Hants area families did the opposite—giving back to the Caring & Sharing Angel Tree food bank.

The Noseworthy; Stead; Pitts; Wood; Hutchinson; and Randall families decided to give something for 24 days instead of taking something. So, a list was formed as to what would be given, and the families each worked at it, with the food they collected being dropped off recently to the Caring & Sharing food bank in Enfield.

Stacey Noseworthy of Dutch Settlement said another parent, the main brains behind the initiative Crystal Randall, spotted a post on another food banks page and shared it with her Mama Bear Runner’s group.

“Crystal (Randall) asked if a couple people wanted to do a box together,” said Noseworthy. “A small group of us were quickly onboard to help put together a box. She wrote up a list for items our local food bank had requested, and we divvied it up. “

A reverse advent calendar is where you give something back instead of getting something. They did it over 24 days in November instead of December so they could donate it in time for this Christmas season.

Noseworthy, whose daughter Amy helped out, thought it was a great idea.

“I often forget about the bins at the grocery stores and end up just giving at special events like the parade,” she said. “This was a bonus. And it was great to have some other momma bears involved.

“They are all amazing mom’s and great running companions. They all have big hearts and care about the community. We’ve done a couple Festive 5 runs for the East Hants Family Resource Centre.

“I’m just so proud of these amazing ladies.”

Diana Stead, who along with daughters Norah and Sadie, both Enfield District School students, took part said their effort shows what many hands can accomplish.

“For one family to take this on could be a costly venture, but with more of us, it wasn’t as daunting,” said Stead.

Tara Pitts said the fundraiser was a good way to instill values into the girls.

“I know my family is really fortunate and I feel like it’s incredibly important to instill in my girls (aged 11 and 13) that giving back to the community, and to those in need, is part of living a good life,” said Pitts. “We try to participate whenever something manageable comes up.”

Hutchinson said the East Hants community means so much to her family, it was only right to participate.

“I always try to volunteer or donate whenever I can,” said Hutchinson. “Over the past couple of years, our running group has been able to give back to our community through fundraisers.

“The reverse advent calendar was a new and great idea for our busy lives. “

She added the girls all learned valuable lessons by their involvement.

“I also loved that we had our children involved and that they recognized and learned about the power of giving,” said Hutchinson.

She believes the reverse advent calendar will become an annual event for the running group.

Stead was thrilled to partake.

“It feels good to be able to help others anytime of year, but especially around Christmas, when financial stress tends to be higher,” she said.

Noseworthy said Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting.

“When Crystal made her post, it gave me all the “Christmas feels,” said Noseworthy. “This is what Christmas is about. And I love Christmas.”

Randall’s daughters Tatum and Asha Lucas recently stopped by the Caring & Sharing Angel Tree Food Bank to drop off a portion of the food they had collected through the reverse advent calendar.