Harvest Tea to bring hope to Northwestern Ontario community

It may seem like a drop in the bucket, but every drop counts when it means bringing water to a community in need.

Jointly hosted by St. John’s-Elora and St. James-Fergus, a Harvest Tea on Sept. 23 will bring, water, health and hope to  the First Nations community of Pikangikum in Nortwestern Ontario.

The cup of tea with baked goodies which you will buy for $8 at the Harvest Tea will be a drop in the  bucket, so to speak.

However it will be a drop felt in Pikangikum, a First Nation community in North-Western Ontario.

According to event Helen Kusserow, the community has 2,400 residents in 450 houses – 430 of which do not have running water and inadequate and decrepit outhouses are used by most residents.

In an email to the Wellington Advertiser she states the consequences are severe: health issues and one of the highest juvenile  suicide rates in the world.

“When I first heard about these appalling conditions, my immediate thought was that we have to assist’’, says Joan Cochrane of St. James Church.

Pikangikum leaders have identified clean water as a top priority.

The Frontier Foundation with financial help from the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund of the Anglican Church of Canada,  is endeavoring to address this issue. 14 homes were equipped with sanitation and clean drinking water in 2014.

In the first phase, the community equipped 14 homes with a cistern, waste water tank and indoor plumbing at a cost of $20,000 each, financed through PWRDF. It is the goal to bring water to at least 10 more homes in Phase Two.  

“Last year’s Harvest Tea  raised $1,261 to buy two boat ambulances for Bangladesh; it would be wonderful if we could raise $1,500 this year so that another family at Pikangikum can have water – healt – hope”, says Doris M’Timkulu of St. John’s Elora.

The goal for Phase Two (2015) is to bring clean water to at least 10 homes or 70 Pikangikum residents.

Locally, the PWRDF (Primate’s World Relief and Development) chapters of St. John’s-Elora and St. James-Fergus  are hosting the annual harvest  tea – all proceeds will support water, health  and hope for Pikangikum.

The Harvest Tea is  on Sept. 23 between 2pm and 4pm in the butterfly garden at St. James Anglican Church in Fergus.

Admission at the door and the Butterfly Garden is fully accessible. For more information call Helen Kusserow at (519) 843-1846.