COURTNEY McCLURE The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Give back to your community through Uxbridge Cares.
Uxbridge Cares has set out their annual baskets, ready for donations. This year they are providing support for six local families, yet there are five baskets located at various Uxbridge businesses.
One family is being “taken care of” by a private sponsor, said, founder of Uxbridge Cares, Michelle Lee.
You can find a checklist, with the needed items, available on the Uxbridge Cares Facebook or Instagram page, as well at the select drop-off locations.
Drop off points include, but are not limited to, the Urban Pantry, Pharmasave and the Lemonade Stand. All locations are in Uxbridge.
There are also a few other ways you can support Uxbridge Cares. You can visit Blue Heron Books, where there is a “book tree” or the Second Wedge, which has a “mitten tree.”
Customers pick a tag and are able to pick out a book or a pair of mitts which will be donated to one of the families.
Uxbridge Cares donations started on November 25th, basket donations will no longer be accepted after December 10th.
The group was started in 2017 by, local Uxbridge resident and parent, Michelle Lee, along with another local parent. 2023 is Uxbridge Cares’ seventh year giving back to the community and helping local families.
In 2017, Ms. Lee and her friend were volunteering at an Uxbridge Public School, when they noticed there was a “hidden need” among the children. This is why they started Uxbridge Cares, together.
“The teachers would notice a specific child didn’t have proper clothing or enough food for their lunch,” explained Ms. Lee. “The teacher’s would take it upon themselves to supply the kids with whatever they needed.”
The schools are usually the first to notice when families are going through difficult times. These incidents create a “hole” within the family’s life and disrupt holiday seasons.
So, what Uxbridge Cares strives to do, is, help these families “fill the hole” in their lives, until they are “okay” again.
Usually, Uxbridge Cares does not have to provide support for the same families twice.
“We sort of thought, Uxbridge is such a giving community and we’re all about taking care of each other,” explained Ms. Lee. “It shouldn’t [depend] upon that one wonderful teacher or the school staff to take care of these families, if they are in need of this kind of help.”
Around the second year of Uxbridge Cares, the other individual who was involved had other commitments and could no longer stay involved. However, Michelle chose to continue, making Uxbridge Cares an annual project.
“I didn’t really have a choice [to continue with Uxbridge Cares], because there was definitely a need,” explained Ms. Lee. “There still is that need in the community.”
Each year, Ms. Lee and the other volunteers work with the three public