7 Memorable Highlights of 2016

by | POSTED: Dec 30, 2016

7 Memorable Highlights of 2016

2016 was an incredible year thanks to our dedicated supporters! Here are some  of our favourite moments  of 2016.

1) Thousands of Pairs of New Underwear Collected for People in Need

In June, we held our  third annual Drop Your Gonch underwear drive, and we set out to raise 2000 pairs of new  underwear. The people we serve  are always in need of new underwear, an essential item that is rarely donated. Our supporters surprised and amazed us once again: altogether, we collected 3605 pairs for people in need! Visit our campaign page and learn more about the initiative.


2) Struggling Families Treated to an Unforgettable Summer Camp Experience

For decades, Moonlight Bay Centre, our  lakefront property  at Lake Wabamun, has been a place of solace, rest, and rejuvenation  for struggling families. Through traditional summer camp activities,  kids and adults alike made meaningful connections while  enjoying a respite from the stress of  city life.  This year, 40 adults and 65 children attended camp at Moonlight Bay Centre. The photos and video footage  that we compiled from this summer capture the spirit our one-of-a-kind camp. View the video and photos  here.


3) Bissell Centre Opens Permanent Supportive Housing for People with  FASD

On September 9th, we held a grand opening for Hope Terrace, a housing complex for people living with  Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. At Hope Terrace, 24-hour assistance is available for  the occupants, including help attending doctor’s appointments and opportunities for community integration. The project is the first of its kind in Canada, and has even inspired  similar initiatives in other cities.  Learn more about Hope Terrace here.

Hope Terrace

4) Thanksgiving Twice as Special this Year

We served over 3000 special holiday meals in 2016, but it was in early October that we were able to go the extra mile for our participants. Because of our generous donors, we served twice as many Thanksgiving meals! Your help provided warmth and community at a time of year where it’s needed most. Thank you! Was it a good time? The video we made speaks volumes.


 5) Outreach Housing Team Smashes First Year Goal

In September 2015, our newly-created  Outreach Housing Team hoped  to house 200  people in its first year in operation. But the team surprised everyone by easily crushing their  goal, helping 200 people transition off the streets by July 2016, and  housing a grand total of 247  people  in its first twelve months.  Thanks to their efforts, 329 people now have homes, a fresh perspective, and–most importantly–new hope for the future.


6) Bissell Elves Spread Cheer and  Raise Funds at Southgate Centre

More than 353 people volunteered as Bissell Elves this holiday season, serving meals, sorting donations, and helping us prepare for holiday festivities. But it was our gift-wrapping fundraiser at Southgate Centre Mall that needed  the most  support. Showing us what the true spirit of the season is all about, 190  volunteers logged more than 1,300 hours of gift wrapping, raising over $17,000 for people in need in our community. We are so grateful! Check out the Bissell Elf Campaign page to learn more.


7) New Year’s Day Dinner Saved!

For 25 years, the inner city community has been able to enjoy a holiday meal on New Year’s Day hosted by Bissell Centre. This year, the economic downturn threatened the success of this cherished New Year’s tradition.  But when we reached out  for help, our friends in the community  came through for us once again, and the offers for support poured in. This Sunday, more than 600 community members are expected to attend the meal where there will be live music, a delicious turkey dinner, and gifts for each guest.  Read more about how this year’s meal  was rescued by awesome partners in the community.


As the year draws to a close and we remember all that we’ve accomplished in 2016, we look forward to the new year energized and inspired by your generosity. We are also reminded that the work that we do at Bissell Centre would never be possible without  your support.

From the bottom of our hearts…..


Help create more memories like these by joining our family of supporters today.  Make a donation by year-end to receive a 2016 tax credit. Thank you if you’ve already given this year, your support is changing lives!


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