New Brunswick woman Victoria Menard knows not every family in the Greater Moncton area can afford to deck the halls this holiday season, so she’s doing what she can to help.
The 20-year-old is a part-time hardware store employee and full-time criminology student at l’Universite de Moncton.
But she still found time to set up four donation boxes at Home Hardware locations in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe to collect gently used and new decorations.
Menard says not every family can afford to decorate their homes.
“They have other priorities and I just wanted to make Christmas a little bit happier in their homes,” she says. “Families are needing more and more, especially this year with everything going up in price, it is harder for families to be able to afford Christmas decorations.”
The donations will be brought to Moncton Headstart, a not-for-profit for at-risk children and their families.
Ornaments, lights, trinkets and wreaths will be available at the organization’s annual Toyland event next month.
The manager of children’s programs at Moncton Headstart said the organization loved the idea.
“When this young lady approached us and asked if there was a need for decorations, we kind of went, ‘Yeah, you know there really is,’” says Shawnda Farquhar. “And when she asked we just couldn’t say no because it is an expense. If you want to go and buy a pretty decoration it can cost between $20 and $100.”
Menard’s Christmas wish has also been accepted with open arms by the owners, mangers and staff of the four Home Hardware stores.
Jeff Irving is the assistant manager of the Elmwood Drive location and says being around Menard is a pleasure.
“Every time she’s here, every time you see her, she’s a smiling face. She’s happy, she loves her job and she obviously has a love for people because of what she’s doing. I think this is a fantastic initiative,” he said.
Menard has made a habit of helping.
Last Christmas, she set up a box at the Home Hardware location in Riverview to collect yarn so seniors could knit hats and mittens for the Boys and Girls Club in town.
She also collected more than 200 blankets for dogs at an animal shelter when she was 17-years-old.
“I was always taught to volunteer,” said Menard. “With my mom, I would go to volunteer with her at her job and it was always just a thrill to see the faces of the people I volunteered for.”
The boxes will be at the front of the four home hardware stores in the Greater Moncton area until the end of the first week of December.