EDITOR’S NOTE: THE ADVOCATE OFFICE ON 21 GEORGE STREET, PICTOU, IS A DROP-OFF LOCATION FOR THESE CARDS.
One kind deed leads to another, and another. And soon, that builds to thousands of kind gestures that help put a smile on faces at Christmas.
Again this Christmas, Nicole LeBlanc and her band of merry elves will help make the season a little bit brighter for some local residents by Spreading Christmas Cheer in Pictou County.
This year marks the fifth year LeBlanc has undertaken the project which provides Christmas cards for those in seniors homes, the Northumberland Veterans Unit, Roots for Youth, local hospitals and more.
Over the past four years LeBlanc estimates she has collected and distributed “easily more than 10,000 cards.”
The project had humble beginnings: LeBlanc was visiting her grandmother who was in the hospital when she noticed a bulletin board on the wall at the foot of the bed that held some cards tacked to it. These cards, LeBlanc, “really brightened her spirits.”
After her grandmother’s passing, LeBlanc decided to do what she could to lift the spirits of others at Christmas time, in honour of her grandmother. Spreading Christmas Cheer in Pictou County was launched and that first call for help resulted in 400 cards. Last year, she collected some 4,000 cards which are typically delivered in mid-December.
Each year the project gets bigger and bigger and more people get involved, using it as a way to kick off the season of goodwill and perpetuate random acts of kindness.
“Everyone being involved is wonderful and so special, but the kids get it — they understand it. You know, here is someone who’s sick and they want to something to make them feel better. And it’s just so sweet because they send really sweet, sincere messages, drawing and crafts. It’s just so special.”
LeBlanc says she gets a lot of positive feedback from the project.
“This year, the North Nova boys hockey team reached out and asked if the boys could help deliver. And I have another person who reached out on behalf of her daughter’s hockey team so I might see if I can match them up and get them to a place together. There’s never a shortage of people wanting to help, and that’s just so special.”
Anyone wanting to participate can drop off old Christmas cards or make their own with sayings like ‘someone is thinking of you’ or ‘I hope you have a merry Christmas’. Cards are being collected until Dec. 7 and can be dropped off here at The Advocate office, 21 George St., Pictou, and the collection will be delivered to LeBlanc and her elves.
“I really appreciate when people want to help like this … it’s grown into this beautiful, wonderful thing.”