By Rori Bennett – Junior Reporter
With the overwhelming support of Dover, Mitchell’s Bay and Chatham-Kent as a whole, the May 16th Miracle, really was a miracle.
Organizers say the hundreds of volunteers driving, collecting donations, and assisting at the food bank with receiving and sorting the donations, all practiced social distancing and followed proper protocols as recommended by the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit.
The success of this event was made possible as a result of the generosity of the people of Mitchell’s Bay in Dover Township, organizers added.
Six truckloads of food donations were collected from Mitchell’s Bay.
Eight of the 10 permanent households are said to have participated and 22 volunteers took part, along with many other volunteers who were redirected to other locations.
“My wife Nancy, and myself, along with Jamie McGrail acted as the captains,” Gary Jenkins, one of the co-captains in Mitchell’s Bay, told the Sydenham Current.
“The area that we were involved with was Mitchell’s Bay, Bass Haven and the surrounding area of Dover Township. We had drop-off stations for people in the rural area, those who weren’t in the immediate pickup zones for Mitchell’s Bay and Bass Haven. They could bring their donation to Mitchell’s Bay Park and we took it from their vehicle. We had tables set up where we packaged everything in boxes, and loaded it on pickups and took it to the hall in Grande Pointe.”
Jenkins said they had masks, hand sanitizer and gloves.
“Before we started, everyone went through the protocols,” Jenkins said.
“We picked up the food in the golf carts and each had extra gloves, masks and sanitizer. We had all of the PPE equipment available for them.”
Jenkins said there were hundreds of donations.
“We had seven truckloads of food, six of different types of food and one load of potatoes, 200 bags of potatoes in that one truck,” he said.
“It was just beautiful, the generosity that everyone gave. As we were setting up at 11 a.m., we had people who were heading into town, or had other things to do, who dropped off their donation. People were starting to drop-off at about 11:15 a.m. and we were there right until 3 p.m.”
North Kent Councillor Jamie McGrail, who was one of the co-captains in Mitchell’s Bay for the event, told the Sydenham Current that Mitchell’s Bay and Bass Haven has always been a giving community.
“As soon as it was announced that we were going to participate, volunteers stepped up and it was easy,” McGrail said.
“Coordination with Gary and Nancy Jenkins by my side made everything work like clockwork. I am always amazed at this community’s desire to step up and contribute. I am proud to live were I live.”
Food banks and programs across the Municipality of Chatham-Kent will benefit from the donations from the May 16th Miracle.
Here are some photos shared on social media from the Mitchell’s Bay portion of the event: