Hark! A herald angel brings… presents and other Christmas things

Pictou County has it’s very own Christmas angel to watch over those in need.

Quietly doing her part to make sure everyone has a Merry Christmas, Irene Anderson has been giving away presents, dinners and cards for the last few years to those who reach out in need of assistance.

Anderson began buying Christmas dinners and gifts for families last year after she had sold her house and found herself with a bit of extra money. Anderson has also been a volunteer at the Community Cupboard for many years and is familiar with the needs of county citizens.

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“I knew from them going to the Community Cupboard that people needed food,” said Anderson. As she reached out to a few people she thought may need the help, Anderson also started receiving Facebook messages from those who heard of her generosity through word of mouth and were seeking help.

She ended up helping about 20 families last year with everything from gifts for the kids to a dinner.

“To help the other people, the smiles,” Anderson said is one of her favourite parts of doing it. “Usually a woman breaks down and cries but I had a man break down and cry, too.”

Anderson estimates she will be able to help about 15 families this year with a bit of help from the community as well. Last month, Anderson posted on a Facebook buy and sell group for Pictou County that she was looking for anyone else who was interested in helping her give back to others and she received a few responses offering help.

Anderson has also been sending cards to seniors homes for three years as well; she and her friends, Marlene MacGillivray and Ella MacLean, sign each of the cards before Anderson takes them to the homes. This year, she is handing out more than 5,000 cards.

“Through the Community Cupboard I just saw more and you want to do more for people if you could,” she said. “They call me a Christmas Angel,” she added with a smile.

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Heather Brimicombe
Heather Brimicombe is a Pictou County native and graduate from the University of King's College in Halifax with a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree as well as a combined major in Sustainability. She has previously won a Canadian Communities Newspapers award for a multimedia feature and was part of a team nominated for a Canadian Association of Journalism data award in the investigative category. Photography, art, sports and outdoor activities are all hobbies of hers as well as crafting, and baking.