Those in treatment at Portage during the Holiday period have a lot to celebrate: they have decided to take control of their lives and rid themselves of their dependencies, to work on their relationships with their loved ones, and to become active and contributing members of society.
Portage’s rehabilitation centres do their best to make the Holidays a special time for the residents. Staff members organise all sorts of activities, including festive lunches and dinners, outdoor adventures, and Holiday craft workshops.
At Portage Prévost, near lac Écho, a big Holiday lunch has become tradition. This year, on December 20, residents welcomed Mr. Pierre Dionne-Labelle, federal MP for Rivière-du-Nord, to this special lunch. It was a great occasion for him to visit the centre and to wish the residents and staff members a Happy Holiday Season. Residents were thrilled to see that he brought his guitar with him, and put on a good show during the party.
On December 22, Mr. Tommy Bruneau, assistant to Québec City’s federal MP, Ms. Annick Papillon, visited the Portage centre in Québec City to celebrate the Holidays with the participants. The visit was an opportunity for discussion and exchange between Mr. Bruneau and participants on the role of the government and how it can further its collaboration with organisations like Portage.
The Portage Beaconsfield centre organised a Holiday potluck, to which all the residents’ family members were invited. They also enjoyed a community supper, provided by a member of Portage’s Board of Trustees and his wife, who dressed up as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and gave out stockings full of gifts for the residents.
In Ontario, the residents took care of decking the halls with their homemade ornaments and stockings. They did a lot of Christmas baking and watched all the Christmas classics during movie nights.
As is now an annual tradition at Cassidy Lake, the Lions Club organised a Christmas party with the youth in treatment. The girls’ community provided the musical entertainment while a Lion, dressed as Santa Claus, handed out presents.
At the MIRE (Movement for Integration and Retention in Employment) centre, staff members organised a Christmas basket drive of non-perishable food items, which they presented to the participants most in need at the MIRE Holiday lunch on December 23.
The children at the Mother and Child centre had a happy Christmas celebration thanks to the generosity of the employees at Copilote, who gave a personalised gift to each child. Some of the mothers also received a generous gift of Cirque du Soleil tickets from IBM.