Christmas in my home is marked by the Christmas Card I receive each and every year from a long time friend. Like holiday magic, she manages to find me, no matter where I am in the world. Her commitment to this inspires me and reminds me of what the holidays mean.
Santa shouldn’t be defined as one kind and jolly old soul living in the North Pole, but rather as a million heroes worldwide who make the world a better place by spreading a message of hope, peace and generosity during the holidays.
Montreal is filled with thousands of these ordinary “Santa’s” who help needy individuals and families by volunteering at local food banks, collecting donations, buying gifts for children and paying it forward with small acts of kindness.
Santa is in the heart of every Montreal Hero, but there is only one that comes to mind this year, and his name is Danny Walker.
Danny is a loving dad, grandfather, friend and husband who calls out each year to his Facebook “elves” to gather blankets, warm clothing and boots in order to them donate to the local homeless shelters. Without the help of any monetary donations or volunteer’s, he tackles this job even though a “Reindeer” tells me that he himself is not in the very best of health.
With all that he does for the Verdun community, I was not surprised to receive an email from Danny last year asking for a donation of baked goods. In his letter, Danny explains that one of his favourite parts of the holidays is the aroma of baked goods that fills his home. He says the smell reminds him of holidays when he was a child and I couldn’t agree more. For many of us living in the area during these times, this was the one day of the year our parents could afford such luxuries. He also remarked that while shelters and agencies offer holiday food and gifts, most are not able to provide the warm and comfort that comes from fresh baked goods and this is something no one should do without.
In this spirit, he wondered if his elves could do something magical for the holidays and asked each of us to purchase a small tin from the dollar store and fill it with baked goods, candies or chocolates. He wanted to deliver these tins to the shelters along with the blankets and other warm items the elves collected and like any good elves would do, we responded and we responded in large numbers.
Santa himself could not have predicted how well this would turn out. Danny was able to deliver over a hundred of these holiday tins to the shelter and I am certain everyone who participated feels proud to have done so, I know that I did.
I must admit, when I first got the letter I thought to myself, it is so like Danny to not only think about warming a person’s body, but their hearts and minds as well. I received the same request this year and realized that a new tradition has begun and it was all created out of one single act of kindness. Imagine what a million of them can do?
I am honored and proud to call Danny a friend and I have but one wish this year, that you help Santa spread even more warmth by purchasing a small tin and filling it with a few baked goods yourself.
To all the Santa’s in Montreal and around the world, I say to you, thank you for spreading the gift of love and happiness.
For more information, please feel free to email me or contact me or Danny via Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/madeline.fosterprosser. Danny is on my friendship list – you can message him there!