Irish Miracle returns to Sarnia with online fundraiser and food deposit

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This year’s Irish Miracle Food Drive at St. Patrick’s Catholic High School is going to be much business as usual.

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As Sarnia High School continues the online fundraiser launched last year, due to the pandemic, to support the St. Vincent de Paul Christmas Basket Program, students and staff will organize also a day of drive-thru delivery of non-perishable food. in the school parking lot on December 4 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Irish miracle began in 1983 and each year students and volunteers would spend a day a weekend before the holidays traveling the community to collect non-perishable food donations left on their doorsteps.

St. Patrick’s Catholic High School Irish Miracle Food and Donation Drive for St. Vincent de Paul returns to Sarnia for its 38th year. Handout

He generally collected more than 8,000 bags of food which were sorted at the school and delivered to the local Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.

But after the pandemic, door-to-door fundraising was replaced last year by an online fundraising campaign promoted by the school and its students.

“It’s a good middle ground,” teacher Martina Austin said of this year’s Miracle with both online fundraising and in-person drive-thru food drive.

“Children are still not allowed to go door to door. . . but I think people are excited about the opportunity to bring canned food to school, ”she said.

Students will provide assistance on the day of the deposit. Donor vehicles will be directed when they arrive in the parking lot and they can open their truck or hatch so that the volunteers unload the donations and reload them on a Saint-Vincent-de-Paul truck.

Volunteers will wear masks and gloves and respect the rules of safe distancing.

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Students and staff will also be working that day in Saint-Vincent-de-Paul to unload donations and stock the shelves at the charity’s food bank, Austin said.

She said they haven’t set a goal for how much food they’d like to collect, but organizers are hoping this year’s online fundraiser will match the $ 30,000 for Saint-Vincent de. Paul collected last year.

“It was a huge help,” Austin said.

Donors can go to ssvpsarnialambton.ca and click on the “Irish Miracle” button to donate from November 22 to December 10.

Donations will allow Saint-Vincent de Paul to help families in need this Christmas.

The Irish Miracle is a beloved high school tradition and something students look forward to.

“They find that not everyone may be as comfortable in life as many of our students,” said Austin. “And it’s nice for them to see how generous the people are in Sarnia and how we take care of each other.

She said the students had asked if the event would take place again this year and what it would look like.

“The fact that it’s a little more normal is very exciting,” Austin said.

“Tons of students are so excited to be here and help.”

She added: “My fingers crossed, next year we’ll be back to normal with door-to-door.”

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