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Op Christmas Bake looking for recipients

By Celina Ip

The fifth annual Operation Christmas Bake has officially kicked off, with volunteers preparing for the holiday season and looking for Christmas Bake recipients. Pictured here (from left) are Derek McLaughlin with his niece Ivy, Operation Christmas Bake organizer and founder Melody McLaughlin, Morgan Broszmann and Ben Broszmann.

The fifth annual Operation Christmas Bake has officially kicked off, with volunteers preparing for the holiday season and looking for Christmas Bake recipients. Pictured here (from left) are Derek McLaughlin with his niece Ivy, Operation Christmas Bake organizer and founder Melody McLaughlin, Morgan Broszmann and Ben Broszmann.

Operation Christmas Bake will be delivering a dash of joy and a sprinkle of cheer to those in need this holiday season.

 

For the fifth consecutive year, Pembroke resident Melody McLaughlin and her Christmas elves are busily baking all kinds of scrumptious holiday treats in preparation for another year of Operation Christmas Bake.

Founded by McLaughlin in 2013, the holiday initiative aims to provide a bit of holiday joy to people who are down on their luck or experiencing any loss or other hardships.

McLaughlin and her 30-plus-member team of volunteers begin baking in mid-November to prepare the platters of homemade treats to be delivered to the recipients in time for Christmas.

The platters typically consist of cookies, butter tarts, miniatures loaves, brownies, cakes and other Christmas desserts.

For the first year of Operation Christmas Bake, with the help of family and friends, nearly 100 platters of goodies found their way to people across Pembroke and Petawawa. Those recipients included a lonely neighbour who had just lost his wife, a grandma missing their family around the holidays, a man confined to his home due to MS, and many others.

Since then, the initiative has grown two-folds, with the 2016 Operation Christmas Bake delivering to 257 recipients across the Ottawa Valley – including as far as Renfrew.

“We’ve delivered to people in Pembroke, Petawawa, Renfrew, Eganville, Cobden, Beachburg and Westmeath. We often get quite a few elderly, a lot of people battling cancer, those who've recently experienced a loss or maybe someone who is just really overwhelmed and down on their luck,” said McLaughlin. “But through Operation Christmas Bake we want to give a dash of sparkle and joy to those people in need, by delivering a plate of homemade goodies to them.”

Operation Christmas Bake is currently looking for delivery recipients and McLaughlin is encourages the community to join the "Operation Christmas Bake" Facebook group to follow along with their operation, and to submit names for cookie deliveries. For anyone who knows of someone who could use some Christmas cheer, please message McLaughlin through the Facebook page, send an email to operationxmasbake@gmail.com or call 613-635-1491

cip@postmedia.com