A Generous Spirit

lloydChristmas day will mark Lloyd Richards’ sixth anniversary as a volunteer at The Ottawa Mission. At 77, Lloyd, a proud native of Cape Breton, brings special energy and dedication to everything he does. And at Christmas in particular, one of Lloyd’s volunteer roles becomes very important to all of the hungry and homeless who come to us for a delicious turkey dinner.

Many weeks ahead of our Christmas celebration – this year taking place on Sunday December 18 – donations of frozen turkeys start arriving at The Mission. Nearly 100 turkeys need to be prepared in advance for the 2,500 meals we expect to serve on that day. With training and lots of practice, Lloyd – along with fellow volunteers Jim Deyell and Richard Denham – has become expert at de-boning and slicing our holiday turkeys so that everything is ready for the day.

But Lloyd’s commitment to The Mission goes far beyond helping us prepare for Christmas. He is here every Monday and Wednesday morning all year round helping prepare meals in the kitchen, serving lunch, and sorting and storing donated food in the stockroom. Lloyd is also an enthusiastic fundraiser and participant in our annual Coldest Night of the Year event and, beyond this, he is a faithful monthly donor to The Mission.

Lloyd was inspired to become a volunteer at The Mission by his late wife, Micheline, who was a lifelong advocate for the hungry, homeless and hurting. Lloyd says that coming here and doing whatever he can to help us is a tribute to his wife’s memory and a “spiritual journey” that enriches his life. We, in turn, have been blessed in so many ways by Lloyd’s kindness, compassion and generosity of spirit.

We send our heartfelt thanks to Lloyd and all our volunteers, and wish them a blessed Christmas season.