A decorated tree, thoughtful gifts, Christmas music, sweets and enormous appreciation, makes the annual Lions event the perfect kick-off to the holiday season. Every first Sunday of December, the Lions from NB, PEI, NS and Maine drive to Cassidy Lake anxious to meet the youth and to finish decorating the Tree with a display of Christmas gifts. During the event each youth is called to the front to receive his/her individual gift from Santa. These gifts are selected and purchased by the Lions Clubs based on the request on every youth’s wish list. Some of the comments of the youth included, “You don’t even know me and you’ve bought me gifts”, “This is the best Christmas ever”, and “ Thank you so much for caring and doing this for us”.

A big thank you to Portage’s Katrina Schwetz and Sussex Lion Lorraine Pollock for leading one of the most anticipated events of the year at Cassidy Lake.

It is Christmas Eve and today youth head home to spend a few days with family and friends. It can be a vulnerable time for families which is why Portage staff have met with all the parents to help them understand expectations around supervision and goals of this special request to go home. Staff members will still be on-site in the event someone has to return to the center or if someone is calling for help and assistance. If anyone needs to talk, call the Portage Atlantic Centre 1-888-735-9800.

Please give the gift of awareness by sharing this post. Perhaps it will reach one person who needs hope and the knowledge that there are people who care.

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