My Experience Sandbagging
Guest contributor: Louise McLaren
Two years ago, I had a job loss. So, when the news announced Cumberland needed volunteers on a wet and rainy Friday, I went. I thought if I do not get a job, I would want people to help me keep my house. I helped build up and tear down sandbags on the streets leading to the river.
Fast forward two years. I lost my niece suddenly this year, just before the flooding began. So I went to help, again. Giving to others proved to be a good way to deal with the loss of this young and beautiful 22-year-old. I felt deep sadness as I drove home the first day as I could not share my extraordinary experience with her. My lesson: get out and seize the day! Life is short.
The bags were heavy, and the body was in worse shape than two years ago, but it was a pleasure to be with others. It was a great comfort and a few of the City of Ottawa staff and homeowners remembered me. One homeowner gave me a hug. We held bags for somebody to shovel sand into, tied them up, piled them high and then – the most fun and tiring – threw them into the truck or onto the forklift. We built walls by handing sandbags off in “chain gang” fashion. Foolishly we raced each other. It was tiring, using muscles most of us did not use often – but we wanted to help. And they fed us well. The Salvation Army has some good cooks!
I asked where the other volunteers were from and about 75% said Orleans. I was not surprised; Orleans is made up of a lot of people from away: immigrants, former and current military and public servants, Francophones and Anglophones living side by side. It does not matter; we are all Canadians and neighbours. I have lived in a few places and Orleans Wood is the only place where people routinely say “good morning.” We are not perfect, but we have a lot of the right stuff. I am proud to call Orleans Wood my home.
Flood Information and Volunteering
If reading about Louise’s experience inspired you to help, follow the updates on the City of Ottawa Website. Once the flood waters have receded and they move to recovery operations, volunteers will be needed again. See: www.ottawa.ca
3rd Annual Dog Walkathon partners with local RBC
This annual CGOWCA event in support of the Canadian Cancer Society was bigger and better this year thanks to our team of volunteers and support from our local RBC branch at the Convent Glen Shopping Centre. Despite the inclement weather on April 27th, there were about 30 people and 12-15 dogs who participated. Approximately $1,700 was raised to help fight cancer. Thank you to the organiser, Gary Bradshaw, and his family, to our volunteers Joel McPhee and Émile Williams, and to Rachelle Brisebois and all of the RBC staff who supported the event. We hope to see you, and your pooch, next year!
Save the Date – Summer BBQ!
The CGOWCA will hold a community BBQ on July 20th from 11am to 2pm. Save the date and watch for more information.
2019 Torchlight Shakespeare Series
“A Company of Fools” has been performing in parks across Ottawa for more than 25 years and often performs in Hiawatha Park at the corner of Voyageur and Voyageur. This year, from July 2 to August 17, they will bring “Romeo & Juliet” to parks around the city. Admission is “Pay-What-You-Will” with a recommended donation of $20. Check out the Tour Calendar and pick a date and location that works for you: http://fools.ca/whats-on/torchlight-shakespeare-romeo-juliet/
Canada Day in Orléans
As we approach July 1st, keep an eye on www.ocanadaorleans.ca for updates on our local celebrations.
Subscribe to “The Beat”
If you want to stay up to date with what is happening on and around St Joseph Boulevard and learn more about local businesses and events, sign up for the Heart of Orléans BIA newsletter, “The Beat”: https://heartoforleans.ca/thebeat/