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Acts of kindness abound during the holiday season

People are in the giving spirit as the holidays approach
Evelyn Sulley painting ornaments to raise money for the hospital.

As the holiday season is upon us, some Guelphites and Wellington County residents have taken to social media to give back this holiday season to people they wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Dana, who wishes to use her first name because she wants her good deed to go unnoticed, gave back to people in her community. 

She took to Reddit on the Guelph page and offered to pay for two strangers overdue hydro bills. Dana asked those in need to send her a copy of their bill with their name and address blacked out, with an outstanding balance. 



Another Redditor reached out to Dana and said they could pay five more people’s bills. A total of six out of seven people have had their Alectra hydro bills paid in time for the holidays, so far.

“And what really appealed to me is that, you know, there's a lot of people who have money trouble, or maybe a little bit of credit card debt or issues,” said Dana.

“But if somebody's at a place where they're not able to fully pay their hydro bill, it's an indicator that there's more going on, and it's more serious, and it's not a position that any individual or any family feels good about.”

She said the people’s bills she paid were grateful and said they would pass on the generosity when they are in a position to do so.

“It's a tough time right now. I mean, without even this gift-giving holiday season, just knowing that things are more costly for families. Salaries aren't increasing the way that they have in the past, the housing costs are inflating dramatically,” said Dana.

It’s easy to get lost in negativity, worry, or anxiety, “to be able to put that in a more positive light and trend towards action, even when it's small, it can be so impactful,” she said.


On the receiving end of a good deed was Kate Nixon, she was going through the Tim Hortons' drive-through between shifts because she needed a cup of tea to keep her going.

The driver ahead of her paid for her order. She was pleasantly surprised, and gave her extra beverage to someone else who needed it. 

“So we gave the coffee back to somebody who was kind of like a straggler who didn't come to the regular meal programming. So we I guess it kind of was tempted to pay it forward,” said Nixon who works in social services.

In Fergus, June Sulley and her children Rowan and Evelyn have been making Christmas tree ornaments to sell, and all the proceeds go to the Groves Memorial Community Hospital for medical equipment.

“It's not just about you, but about supporting others and making a better community,” said Sulley.

So far they have raised $302. They will be at the Elora Farmers’ Market on Dec. 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. selling their ornaments. 

“So different people fundraise for different things at that one table at the farmers market, which I also think is lovely," said Sulley.


The ornaments are made of clay and are shaped using cookie cutters. Her children have fun painting them, she said.

“We don't go to church very often, once in a blue moon, but every now and then she'll ask, you know, can I donate my money to the church,” Sulley said about her daughter. 

People who pass by their ornaments ask why they are doing it and congratulate them for giving back to the community, said Sulley.

Taylor Gutcher, who has worked in long-term care in the Fergus area opened up her business. Holistic Connections, just over a year ago, helping seniors. 

Her work with seniors inspired her to give back to the community and those working in healthcare.


This holiday season she reached out to friends and family on Facebook to give donations to make gift bags with lotion, chocolate, and a thank you card.

The gift bags are going to seniors, nurses, PSWs, and other staff who work in long term care and retirement homes.

She thought giving out lotion would be a good gift for those working in healthcare because they are constantly washing their hands.

“I think honestly, this time of year just gets very overwhelming for a lot of people, whether we, you know, can enjoy the holidays, but there's a lot of emotions that come up with it,” said Gutcher.

“The health care workers themselves, a lot of nurses and everybody, they have to work Christmas, they get to be with the elders, but not with their families and I know that can be hard on a lot of people, especially those with young ones,” she said.

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Santana Bellantoni

About the Author: Santana Bellantoni

Santana Bellantoni was born and raised in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. As a general assignment reporter for Guelph Today she is looking to discover the communities, citizens and quirks that make Guelph a vibrant city.
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