A FOCKer Charity - Making Christmas Bright
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
~ Winston Churchill
For the nine ladies who run Free or Cheap Kitchener (FOCK) this quote reigned true this past December when they continued their tradition of giving back.
What started out as a local buy and sell group housed on Facebook has since expanded into eight groups covering everything from community events and small business promotion, to a group for people who want to support local charities.
The FOCKer Charity group focuses on building positive connections in the community through a 'pay-it-forward' movement, which consisted of gathering gifts, food and supplies for local families and organizations in need.
In 2015 they started A FOCKer Christmas: a December give back program for members of the group. This initiative helps low income working families who need a boost during the Christmas season. Families are picked through an application process in the Fall where they are either sponsored by a FOCK group member, interested organization, or the group as a whole.
"It comes full circle," said one of the groups administrator's, Leslie Asmussen, who explained that some of the recipients from 2015 became sponsors and donors of families in 2016.
The ladies collect donations and supplies from local businesses and community members leading up to the week before Christmas. Other items they need are purchased throughout the month so they can be wrapped and set aside for the different families and organizations. Deliveries are then coordinated with the families leading up to Christmas Day.
Thanks to the tremendous aid of the FOCKer community, the group was able to support 14 families and two local shelters this past Christmas.
The administrative group meets once a week at the home of their Founder, Sylvia Kolednik, to brainstorm ideas on how they can make a collective impact. They've developed a support system where they can come together and lean on each other: It's blossomed into more than a friendship.
Up next on the docket for these ladies is a Paint Night happening in February. To keep an eye out for details on future events and community initiatives, visit their FOCKer Charity page on Facebook.
A FOCKer Charity has more events in the works including a potluck party for all members. Their goal is to create a community where members can get out and get to know each other - ultimately creating a sense of belonging.