Montrealers celebrate spirit of Christmas giving
Published Tuesday, December 24, 2013 5:36PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 24, 2013 6:57PM EST
Christmas generosity was flowing throughout Montreal Tuesday as many Montrealers basked in the joy of giving on Christmas Eve.
Perhaps the biggest giveaway took place at Sun Youth on St. Urbain, where 15,000 Christmas baskets were provided to those in need and toys were handed out for 4,000 children.
The longtime organizer said that the upcoming period can be difficult for those less fortunate.
“We are very concerned because January, February, March are very tough months. It's going to be a cold winter, as we've experienced now, so we're asking people to be very generous because phase two begins now,” said Sid Stevens of Sun Youth.
Among those volunteering at the facility was a high-ranking Quebec cabinet minister who underlined the need for non-government initiatives to help out.
“Although there's a number of programs that go in the right direction, the number of single people is augmenting, the number of divorced people is augmenting and this brings more people under the threshold and to these banks. So society is evolving in that it's fragmenting and we have to think harder about how to do that,” said PQ MNA Jean-Francois Lisee.
The Multi-Caf in Cote des Neiges was another charitable organization that provided Christmas baskets and a meal for the occasion.
But it wasn’t only charitable groups that stepped up to demonstrate generosity on this once-a-year occasion, as one restaurant in NDG offered a complimentary South Asian meal Tuesday.
The co-owner said that those who are down on their luck will likely see better days ahead.
“For me it is a hope for them, it's a hope for tomorrow. Believe me I feel that tomorrow will be better for them, tomorrow somebody else going to be beside them. They’re not alone,” said Panma Chowdhury, chef and co-owner of Maison India.
His business partner shared that sentiment and recounted being moved by one person in particular that she helped feed on this day.
The diner told her, “’I paid my rent and my freezer's empty,’ it's so heartbreaking,” said Sudipta Chakraborty..