humanitarian

Mission president captures Vigor International Award

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The president of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission’s board of directors has won another award.

Tim McAllister won the humanitarian award that was presented by Vigor Awards International. According to the organization, the Vigor Awards are “designed to promote generosity, volunteerism and humanitarianism around the world. Our goal is to celebrate, honour and acknowledge individuals who have made a positive impact in the world, whether by improving, encouraging or empowering other people’s lives.”

The ceremony was held Sept. 10 at the Capitol Theatre in Windsor, and included dinner and a limousine ride to the theatre and a red carpet ceremony upon arrival.

“This was the first time I rode in a limo,” said McAllister. “I was kind of blown away.”

McAllister thanked the mission’s board of directors and everyone at the mission who supports him. He also thanked the Vigor Awards International committee for selecting him for the humanitarian award. He outlined his background and how he became involved with the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, acknowledging his wife Violet and their four sons.

“My life was moving along fine when all of a sudden I was involved in an unfortunate car accident leaving me unable to continue my work. I was forced to retire at a very young age. I had to leave behind many parts of my life that I had grown accustomed to,” said McAllister. “This accident left me feeling very sorry for myself. I did not plan for this accident to occur and I am certain the drunk driver did not plan this either. As time progressed, I stopped looking back at what I missed from the past and started looking to the future where I renewed my relationship with God.”

McAllister started volunteering at the Scout Hall where the need for the mission was first identified. The mission was formed and he worked with founders Andy and Pat Gervais and others to have what is now their current home at 298 Victoria St. S. built.

Tim McAllister, pictured with wife Violet, captured the Vigor International Award in the humanitarian category recently. (Submitted photo)

“Our dreams became a reality when we broke ground on our new building in 2001, which is still in use today,” he said.

McAllister pointed out he has been volunteering with the mission for over 20 years, the last 16 of which having been as president. He emphasized that no one at the mission is paid.

“We are people helping people,” he said.

Vigor Awards president Queen Amina visited the mission when McAllister was nominated and McAllister said “she was amazed to see what we do here.” He noted it is more than just food, as they offer a number of programs and provide clothing and even furniture to those in need.

The awards are prestigious, he added.

“If you make an impact to your community in any part of the world, they check it out,” said McAllister. “People fly in just to get the award. The aim of this is to get other people to do the same thing. It is to get people involved and to help other people.”

McAllister still plans on continuing to help out at the mission.

“I love the community,” he said. “When you love a place, you give it your all.”

Amherstburg resident joining area Rotarians for humanitarian trip to Ghana

 

By Ron Giofu

 

An Amherstburg man is joining a group of Essex Rotarians for an upcoming trip to Ghana.

Bert McLellan said he heard about the trip on television and decided he wanted to get involved. They leave Nov. 14 for just over two weeks on a humanitarian mission and McLellan is currently fundraising for the trip, with proceeds going towards the people of Ghana.

“This opportunity came up, they accepted me and I’m going,” he said. “I put my money where my mouth is. I’m looking forward to it. The nervous part is (fundraising). I’m not the type of guy who likes being noticed too much.”

Projects in Ghana will include renovating a dilapidated school in the village of Wurakase and purchasing new books, uniforms and desks for the students as well as distributing school supplies and toys. Three water wells will be drilled and the hope is to also build a sanitation facility featuring 12 flushing toilets, sinks and showers.

Amherstburg resident Bert McLellan is fundraising for his upcoming trip with Essex Rotarians to Ghana.

Amherstburg resident Bert McLellan is fundraising for his upcoming trip with Essex Rotarians to Ghana.

Medical professionals will treat people as McLellan points out they rarely get to see a doctor in Ghana. The team will bring 400 pounds of medicines to the African nation. Mosquito nets will also be put up and reading glasses distributed to those who need them.

“All the money I’m trying to raise goes to the projects,” he said.

McLellan has to pay his own way, meaning he has to shell out over $4,000. However, giving back is something he does regularly as he is a board member of the Park House Museum, an usher at St. John the Baptist Church and a retired Amherstburg firefighter.

For information or to donate, contact McLellan at 519-736-6707 or e-mail patmc02@yahoo.ca.