CNTC Collects Food & Toy Donations at our 2008 Annual Christmas Party
Every year CNTC members get together for our annual Christmas Party, to celebrate another great year of comraderie. While we enjoy an evening out with friends, we don’t forget those less fortunate during the holiday season. Food and Toy donations are enough to fill an Xterra!
Thank you letter from the Salvation Army
THE TORONTO STAR SANTA CLAUS FUND
Tales of Joy from the Delivery Elves
Raveena Aulakh, Staff Reporter
Kevin Caplice’s favourite moment delivering Star Santa Claus Fund boxes is after he has given the box and the door has firmly closed behind him.
He lingers, just for a second – and invariably hears whoops of joy and children saying, “Who were they?” and “What were they giving me things for?”
Job done, Caplice moves to the next home.
He’s one of a small army of volunteers who help deliver 45,000 Santa Claus Fund boxes every winter. Sometimes there’s freezing rain, other times there’s a blizzard, but this group plods on until all the boxes are delivered.
Caplice, who works at Noble Trade in Oakville, has been delivering the boxes with his wife, Debbie, for six years. He was first inspired to help others during the holidays when he was a high school student delivering Christmas gifts with a teacher.
He remembers driving into a nice neighbourhood and ringing the doorbell of a new house. “A woman answered the doorbell and invited us in and, without even being asked, told us her story,” recalled Caplice.
She had escaped an abusive relationship and worked hard to buy the house so that her kids could feel safe. “But there was barely any money for Christmas gifts.”
That’s when he realized that all some families need is one little push.
Six years ago, as a member of the Canadian Nissan Truck Club (a group of Nissan enthusiasts), he heard about the Santa Claus Fund and didn’t think twice before signing up. Now, a group of more than a dozen volunteers stack the Santa Claus Fund boxes in seven to eight trucks and deliver them every December.
Every year is a treat, said Caplice – more for him than the families he delivers the boxes to.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to help. You feel on top of the world.”
One of his favourite memories is from last year when his wife knocked on a door and handed a couple of boxes to the children. She was walking toward the car when one of the kids came bounding out, a bag of candies in his hand.
“‘These are for you,’ he told my wife,” said Caplice. “He was so happy with the gift boxes and wanted to thank her.”
Another time, Caplice remembers carrying a load of boxes and trying to locate an address when a teenager came up and offered to take him to the house. The teen had received the Star boxes as a child and knew the kids the boxes were intended for would be eagerly waiting.
Lisa Randhawa, also of the truck club, has her own repertoire of stories.
A couple of years ago, she and a friend gave four boxes to a family, wished them happy holidays and were walking to the elevator when a boy, about 10, came running toward them. He had a Santa Claus Fund box in his hand. “He told us that there was some mistake – there were only three children in their house,” said Randhawa. He said that some child somewhere would be waiting for his gifts.
His honesty touched Randhawa. She still gets a lump in her throat when she thinks about it.
“Whatever I may be doing when it’s time for delivery, I drop it all to deliver these boxes,” said Randhawa, who works for Aecon Construction. “I’m not changing their lives but just giving them a bit of happiness,” she said.
“Nothing compares to it.”
If you have been touched by the Santa Claus Fund or have a story to tell, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
CNTC Collects Food Donations at our Annual Adventure Weekend
From: “CW Food Bank”
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2008 2:10 PM
Subject: Food Bank
Hello and Thank you to the Canadian Nissan Truck Club for your recent donation to the Centre Wellington Food Bank. Your Adventure Weekend in Minden was a great weekend for us. At this time of year our shelves are low and we are in desperate need for food. We have to make it to the Thanksgiving food drive. And you helped that happen.
Some food bank statistics. In 2007 we had 822 visitors-our food went to 1800 people-715 are children. There are 294 food banks in Ontario. 694 known food banks in Canada. What is happening in our province-in our country? That there is hunger and food insecurity? Please get to know your local food bank-find out what they need and how you can help. The Kraft Hunger Challenge is from Sept. 2-26. Kraft will match financial donations to food banks. Kraft and the Canadian Association of Food banks is raising the awareness of hunger in Canada and helping to raise funds for local food banks.
Stephanie and Jason will forward my thank you note. Please forward my message to your friends-relatives-associates-let them know how the Canadian Nissan Truck Club made a difference. Maybe they will make a difference too…
Sincerely Mike Counsell
Manager Centre Wellington Food Bank
CNTC helps with the Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund
Truck club enthusiasts love playing Santa Claus
Jubilation of the kids sighting gift boxes `amazing,’ says Xterra owner taking part in home deliveries
December 22, 2007
Emily Mathieu Staff Reporter, Toronto Star
Two decades ago, Kevin Caplice got his first serious lesson on the precarious line that exists between poverty and just making ends meet.
And on what a difference to a household a little Christmas charity can make.
Caplice, now 37, was out delivering Christmas food-drive packages with his high school football coach when the two of them arrived at what looked like a comfortable home on a nice street in Mississauga.
“This can’t be the right place,” he remembers telling his coach.
The woman who opened the door, the owner of the home, was a single mother who’d left an abusive husband. Inside that nice looking house there was hardly a stick of furniture, just a lawn chair and a Coleman stove, he said. To give her kids a chance to go to good schools, she’d scraped and saved to buy a suburban home.
“She worked at two or three jobs … but she had nothing because every cent she had went to this house,” he said.
These days Caplice, who lives in Oakville, is rallying others in support of the Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund. He’s a member of the Nissan Truck Club, formerly the Southern Ontario Xterra Club. It’s a pack of (what else) Nissan enthusiasts who first got together back in 2001. Now there are about 550 owners who belong across Ontario. Locally, members have been delivering the brightly wrapped Star gift boxes, filled with items like warm clothing, candy, toys and books, to children in need since 2004. Caplice, who drives a gold Xterra, has blanketed the club’s website with messages and photos to encourage participation in the deliveries.
The Santa Claus Fund has been a holiday presence for children for more than 100 years; this year’s goal is to bring cheer to 45,000 kids.
“It’s just really heartwarming,” said Lisa Randhawa, 40, the club’s event co-ordinator and proud owner of a silver Xterra.
Last Saturday, she was in a fleet of seven Nissans delivering boxes in the Finch and Islington area.
“While we were in one of the apartment buildings, there was a teenage boy … he said, `I remember when I used to get those gifts. That was so cool.'” The little kids didn’t try to play it cool, she said. “When children came to the door, they were jumping up and down and all smiles – it was amazing.”
The team was intending to make some rounds last Sunday as well, but the massive snowstorm interfered. Caplice was planning to catch up today.
“You can’t let the weather get in the way,” he said. “To just walk up to a food bank and drop off a box is one thing, but when you meet people and see who uses it, you can see why it’s a good thing,” he said.
Today, three or four drivers will load up in Etobicoke and spread out to deliver last-minute gifts. He’s looking forward to another set of joyous reactions from little kids on his route.
“You can actually hear them screaming though the walls” while walking away, he said. There are a variety of reasons why a household may be in need at Christmas, he said. “You hope that if you are in that position some day, someone out there will knock on your door.”
More on the Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund:
Thank You Letters – 2007
(click image for full size)
December 2007 – Salvation Army
March 2007 – Halton Hills
January 2007 – Salvation Army
SOXC & Dermac Nissan Show & Shine Ad
SOXC Test Out the Brand New 2005 Nissan Xterra
January 1, 2005
Toronto Star – Wheels Section – Front Page
SOXC & OF4WD Clean Up Moon River