Even a Chinook reprieve can’t thaw the unmistakable sights, sounds and feelings of the holiday season.
Colourful lights illuminate Cochrane’s Historic Downtown and transform humdrum residential streets into a feast for the eyes. Nostalgic Christmas songs can’t be avoided on excursions away from home and remain in your head for the rest of the day.
This time of year gives you the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family you might have lost touch with throughout the year. You might also have a few days off and can finally spend one-on-one time - with no distractions - with your spouse or children.
Imagine now that you’re alone. You’ve relocated from another province or perhaps from another country. Or maybe your circle of friends and family have shrunk or dispersed over the years. The jolly familiarity you’ve been accustomed to is no longer your surroundings. You’re a stranger among strangeness.
Cochrane is remarkable at offering support for newcomers. A fine example of our generosity and openness is the second annual Jingle and Mingle Over Soup event taking place on Christmas Day at the Cochrane Alliance Church from 11:30 a.m.to 1:00 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to come as they are - newcomers or anyone looking for companionship over the holidays.
The remarkable idea was conceived by a newcomer in 2014. Paul Singh came to Cochrane and felt left out when the holidays approached. When he became a volunteer with the Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee (CISC) he developed the idea of a gathering to draw people from around the community on Christmas Day.
Last year’s inaugural event attracted 39 individuals from around the community along with 40 dedicated volunteers. Singh said when he asked the community to assist in the event, they stepped up in full force.
At this year’s event local catering companies Gourmet to-Go and Pat's Palate Pleasers will be providing their time and dishing out their homemade soup for attendees. Cobs is providing rolls and bread and Helping Hands are baking homemade cookies. Small gift bags will be assembled by CISC volunteers with toys and gifts donated by the Cochrane Activettes, Canadian Tire and Safeway.
It really does take a village to make Christmas better for someone else. This incredible assemblage of volunteers and volunteer-run organizations are evidence that our community really does care. Let's try and maintain this type of involvement year-round.
If you’re looking for fellowship and the warmth of other humans over Christmas then consider dropping by. If you know someone who could benefit from the opportunity, then join them at Jingle and Mingle Over Soup.
If you are interested in volunteering at the event reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.