The Gift of Courage

Picture of woman with Santa Claus

If you were passing by the intersection of Maitland and Dundas on the evening of December 8th, you would have seen nearly a hundred people – men, women and children – going into the side entrance of the Dundas Street Centre Church. You would never have suspected that it was a gathering of those connected to Quintin Warner House (QWH), Addiction Treatment Program for Mission Services of London.

When past graduates, current clients, staff, volunteers and family members come together for the QWH Christmas Dinner each year, it is similar to any family tradition. There were festive decorations, Grace before the meal, an abundance of holiday food to tuck into and merriment by the pound. There was even a child crying briefly at one point, but don’t worry; it didn’t last long. After all, Santa Claus himself made an appearance bearing presents for the little ones. Even the adults got to take home a poinsettia.

One of the best gifts of the evening was a count-down starting at 35 years. One by one based on years and months, men came to the front of the room allowing the rest of us to clap and be in awe of their courage and commitment to sobriety.

If you took away the food, presents and decorations and only had the vision of these brave men, it would stand still in your memories as a great gift to behold.

Our thanks go out to Forest City Fire Protection (our excellent host for 11 years), who does all the decorating, buying and serving of food and cleanup.


by Connie Spuria

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