Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Delivery Accomplished!

Yesterday was our Christmas basket delivery. Every family received 2 boxes. One, overloaded with food and the second contained Christmas gifts for the family members. Our food supply was amazing this year thanks to Tim Horton's(St. Charles), and several other generous people and organizations. Thank you.

Many of our families were sponsored by individuals, families and companies, who supplied Christmas gifts for the kids and in some cases, food. Thank you, You have helped make Christmas an easier time for some of our families.

Pete was telling me today that while doing one delivery he received a very enthusiastic hug from a little old lady.

Once again Beaconsfield Emergency Services helped out in a big way, helping pack and deliver boxes. We appreciate their time and willingness to participate in this project.

We truly do make a difference when we work together.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas is upon us

Monday Dec. 21 is our Christmas delivery for our food bank. Many of our families have been adopted by individuals and families desiring to make a difference this Christmas. This means that our families will not just get food for Christmas. The kids will get presents that their parents can wrap for them.

Beaconsfield Emergency Services will be helping with deliveries again this year. This a big help because families will get 2 boxes each.

Thanks to all of you who adopted a family or donated food and/or money this year. Food Banks are struggling across the board, so your generosity is appreciated more than ever.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Helping Hands

It is amazing what happens when the Christmas season approaches. We have been blessed with people calling us to adopt families for Christmas. Tim Hortons on St. Charles North has partnered with us in collecting food, and they have been doing a great job. We are able to stack our shelves and guarantee a good Christmas for our families and some left over for the post-Christmas slow down. Thank you to all who have participated.

I also need to thank Dave and Second Cup Fairview for their ongoing commitment to helping us feed those in need in our community. Second Cup donates all of their surplus food, to our food bank. This Christmas, they also have a toy collection going on for our families. If you buy a toy and donate it, they will give you a free coffee.

When the community works together, it becomes so much easier to meet the needs that exist.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas is Coming

Christmas seems to be arriving faster this year than other years. Six weeks away! We are doing our Christmas baskets again this year with gifts for the kids. We are looking for families who will sponsor a family. This means providing Christmas gifts that are age and gender appropriate for the kids in our 111 families.

If you are interested in sponsoring a family, contact us at On Rock and we will put you in touch with Kathryn, who is coordinating our gift program. Contact us at onrock@onrock.org

The only time of year where we spend money on food is at Christmas. We buy turkeys, chickens and frozen vegetables in order to supply traditional Christmas dinners for our families. If you would like to contribute to this, send a cheque to On Rock, attn:Christmas Baskets.

Thank you and Peace,


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thank you North Face

My friend Steph called last night, telling me that North Face collected food as part of their admission to the big warranty sale this year. He said the food was ours if we wanted it. Obviously, I jumped on it. Today we went and picked up four large containers that were too heavy for one person to lift. Amazing!

Thank you North Face. This week our families will eat better because of you.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Big Question

Our needs are out of control. We need space. Freezer space, cold storage space, non-perishable space, drop-in center space, The list goes on. We have talked about finding a new facility for about 4 years now. Money and timing are always issues. What do we do?

At present we are considering selling our present building and renting for a year in the A Ma Baie area, with a view to buying in that area. That is where most of our clientele live. We could make a much larger impact on the community if we were "in it".

I have no idea what this will look like, but that has been true for every growth step we have taken. I do know that the need for our services have grown to almost triple from when we started. We have always said we would go through any door that God opens. Is this another door?



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A New Challenge

We find ourselves in a challenging position. As the need for our services rises, our financial base is decreasing.

We are now feeding 110 families a week and our lunch program is up to 50 sandwiches a week. We are still waiting to hear from 3 schools on their needs. We have also started providing breakfast food for one school.

We do however, find ourselves struggling financially. In the past 2 weeks, we have lost over $700 a month due to unemployment. For a small charity, this is a big hurdle. We continue to pray for wisdom and seek new resources.

To those who already support On Rock, thank you. It is because of you that we can make a difference.



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Over $300,000

Last year, we distributed over $300,000 in food supplies in the West Island. $27,000 of that was in our school lunch program. It is amazing, when you sit down to crunch numbers, you see the magnitude of the need in our community.

We are in the process of talking with schools about their needs this year in regard to the school lunch program. So far we have 2 schools signed up for a total of 3o lunches a week. This will grow as the other schools request assistance.

I suspect that, with the current economic situation, the numbers could be higher than last year.

Thank you to all those who help us to meet the needs in our community. Together, we make a difference.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another Great Monday

We are feeding 106 families. They range from families of one to 11 people. We depend on our suppliers to provide enough food to do this. This week, they came through in a big way. Our average box was worth about $75. With the addition on the Green Bus, we now have the ability to take pallets of food. This means we have more food available to us, and it is coming in handy.

We have a waiting list right now of 12 families. Hopefully we will be able to add some of these families to our delivery list soon.

We continue to explore the possibilities of moving to a bigger facility, closer to our clientele.



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Face

Last week our van got a face lift. Our logo and info will be seed all over the West Island and beyond thanks to Adam Moss at CATSYS and Sticky Grafix. The sign you see here is on both side windows as well and on magnets that rest on my Cherokee. All designed to give us more visibility in the community we serve and to bring attention to the growing need for a the food bank in the West Island.

Other good news this week.... A transport company donated 4 pallets of breakfast cereal to us. We now have cereal for our 106 families for the next 6 weeks.

Things to keep in mind. Our poker tournament is coming up fast on September 20th at Bourbon Street West. You can sign up on our website.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More Board News

Our board continues to grow. Vince Mancini, a friend, football buddy and businessman has joiuned the On Rock board. Vince joins Ted Sparkes, Karl Frigan and Steve Watts in guiding On Rock into its next stage of development. I am excited for this next year.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Board Member

On Rock is in the process of rebuilding it's board. We are in a place where we need to move and grow. In order for this process to be successful we have had to re-evaluate our board and bring in some new passion. I am pleased to announce that Steve Watts has joined the On Rock board. Steve is a passionate advocate for the under-privileged in our community and is a "No task is too big" kind of person.

You can meet Steve at the On Rock Poker Tournament on September 20th at Bourbon Street West. See onrock.org for more details.



Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Summer is over

The kids went back to school today. At least mine did. This means the summer is over, and yet it feels like it barely began. Soon we will be talking about Christmas, but not yet. With the beginning of school comes our school lunch program. We have already begun supplying one school and in the next few weeks, we will hear from the other schools in the community about their needs.

It is easy to fall into the numbers of it all, and forget that these lunches are going to kids in our community who otherwise would not have lunch. Studies show that kids who are hungry learn less and act up more in school. I know what I am like when I feel a little peckish. Many of these kids may eat once a day. It is a big task, but it is one that must be carried out. We are privileged to serve our community in this way. To serve kids in this way.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Growing needs create a need to grow

It is hard to believe that we started out 5 years ago with 40 families. This week we delivered food to 106 families. The amazing thing is, that our food supplies have grown right along with the number of people. We always seem to have enough food to give good boxes to our recipients.

We are actually at the point where we need to grow. We need a bigger facility in order to keep up with the need in our community. I would love to move into the center of the community where most of our people live. To create a place where we can offer more resources to the people we serve.

We need cold storage and a walk in freezer. We need dedicated dry storage. We also need a dock-level truck. These have been wishes for the last few years. We are now at the place where they are needs.

All we need is $800,000.....



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Big Haul

This week, once again our food distribution was over the top. We used "the Green Beast" to pick up our supplies this week from Moisson Montreal. It was a good thing we did. The back door of the bus has been modified and will take a pallet. Along with all of our regular food, we picked up a pallet of McCain Slowcooker Solutions, Chicken A la King. All our families of 4 or more received a box of 6 packages. This provides the whole family with a meal at least 6 nights this week. On average our boxes were worth about $100 this week. That is amazing. Thanks to our friend who has made "The Green Beast" available. It has already opened some new doors for us.

A Columbian lady came in Tuesday looking for assistance. Her husband was laid off last week and they have 3 kids under 6 years old. She was very shy and told us that they have never asked for assistance before. I assured her that she is not alone. In the past year we have had many people come to request help, who are embarassed about needing help.

Her friend is a Peruvian who was also in need. As we talked, we asked if she could help us with some of our spanish speaking families that we had trouble communicating with. This lady has agreed to be our liason with these families, which is a big deal to us. We also acquired a Haitian liason this week.

Not a bad week. The Green Beast, and 2 liasons, and great food supplies. God provides.



Wednesday, July 29, 2009


On Monday, we were blessed with an amazing amount of food from our distributors.

The same day, Rina walks into On Rock. When she sees me she just breaks down crying. Rina suffers from depression and lost her job, she tells me she hasn't eaten for 4 days. Rina lives 1 block from the food bank. She tells me she was on her way here the other day and one of our other clients(who is very possessive about his food) told her we didn't have any food to spare. She went home and spent the next 3 days sleeping. Sleeping is a good alternative to dealing with hunger pains.

After a short lecture on what our food bank does, we drove Rina home with a great box of food. Rina and her 15 year old son will eat well this week.

We deliver 100+ baskets a week. During the school year we provided 100 lunches a week to local school kids who come to school without a lunch. Today we spent some time calculating how much food we distributed in the past year. Through the food bank we distributed $300,000 worth of food. In the lunch program we distributed $27,000 worth of lunches.

We are amazed and encouraged with these numbers. Sometimes we can wonder whether we are really helping anyone. When I see these numbers, I stop wondering. We can make a difference, and we do. Just ask Rina.



Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pizza for everyone...

Today we had one of those amazing phone calls. It came from our primary food supplier. He asked if we wanted some frozen pizza. I replied, I will be right over. We usually pick up food on Monday right before food bank. This is the first middle of the week, "we have surplus" call we have received.

When I arrived, I asked how many boxes I could take. On most items we get there is a limit based on the size of organization we are. Today Mike said, "how much do you want? Fill your van." I love that answer. I was able to take 32 boxes. That is 374 pizzas. I had to be very creative in storing them, but we had them all in freezers by noon. Thanks to a local church who kindly let us fill their freezer until Monday when we will ship them out to our families.

It is amazing what we can pull of when we work together. We can make a difference.



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

And still growing...

This week, we broke the 100 mark. Yesterday we delivered boxes to 103 families. This is good news because it means our waiting list is shrinking. We have been making requests for more food from our distributors so that we can kill the waiting list, but it has been amazing that without any official response, we are getting enough food to make a dent in the waiting list.

It is a good feeling to be able to call up a family who has been on the waiting list since may and tell them they are now on the distribution list. I hate waiting for anything. I can't imagine waiting to get enough food to feed my family.

Thank you to everyone who helps make this happen.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Good Week

This week has been a good week, and its only Wednesday. Pete and Lina had their baby last weekend and Pete is off for a few weeks. This means, I did his food bank deliveries this week with John. It is amazing to see how Pete has built relationship with some of his people. Several, upon seeing me, asked "Where's Pete?" As I explained the his baby was born, there were smiles and squeals and questions. Sometimes this was followed by, "so when is Pete back?"

Today, I had an amazing meeting with a lady who works at a health clinic. Her clinic wants to give back to the community and has asked if we could partner with them. They want to raise money, food and awareness in the West Island to help in the struggle with poverty. She also has some connection with food distributors. This is a very exciting development for us.

What will tomorrow bring?



Monday, June 15, 2009

The Wine Tasting, an amazing evening

We worried about the weather in the afternoon, but as the evening approached the sky cleared and the wind died down to create an incredible evening to be on the back deck of the mansion, tasting wine in support of On Rock Ministries.

The theme was Chilean wines with food matchings that were impossible to describe. The overall consensus was that it was a great evening. In the end it was a sold out event. With the help of the silent auction we will have made approximately $5,500.

We were very pleased with the outcome and thank all who helped to make this happen.



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Food Supply Increase

We are still reeling from the food we received last week. It was amazing. Our families were thrilled to receive an extra box last week.

This week I received a call from a friend asking if we could use frozen airplane meals on an ongoing basis. He put me in touch with a gentleman, that works for Delta Daily Foods. If things progress as we plan, we will be able to get pallets of food on a fairly regular basis. This is an amazing connection for us, and great news. We are blessed.



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Frozen Meals Arrive

I received a call yesterday from a friend telling me that a guy he knew had 5 or 6 pallets of frozen meals to give away. I jumped on the offer and called the generous individual right away. At 6:30 this morning we picked up 6 pallets of frozen meals from a loading dock in St. Laurent. Our problem was, we only have 5 available freezers. We called up Westview Bible Church and filled a freezer there as well. We still had 4 pallets of food!

We decided to take a box, containing anywhere from 30-50 meals each to our food bank recipients. Can you imagine the look on there faces when they receive a whole box of these meals. It puts a smile on my face.

We still had 2 pallets! I called up a friend at the Old Brewery Mission to see if they could use the rest. An hour later their truck pulled up and took the last two pallets. It is amazing how this one guy making a phone call set off a chain of events that will feed hundreds of people, and it was all done before lunch. What a great day.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Denise Update

Last week, I started to tell you about Denise. Well, things got worse. Her apartment building caught fire at 4 am one morning. Everyone was evacuated to a motel for 3 days. As bad as this was, Denise loved it. She got to sleep in a clean room and bed for the first time in years. She had food and was able to buy some new clothes. She felt relaxed.

As of this week the first floor tenants will be allowed back in the building. This includes Denise. The Rental board has issued her hearing date so we are going to have top negotiate how we empty her apartment. This will not be easy. Denise is very attached to her stuff. We have to help her realize that if she doesn't get rid of the stuff, she will have nowhere to live, and therefore nowhere to keep her stuff, so she will lose it anyway.

The battle in her mind continues....



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Traps of Mental Illness

Denise is in her early 50's. She is a cheerful lady, who at one time had the world in her hands. She lived with her husband and child in a beautiful upscale home in the West Island. She had a nice car, lots of friends and was busy about her church community. Then, sickness struck. Her husband left her for the baby sitter while she was in hospital. Denise went into a spiral of depression that became OCD somewhere along the way.

Today, she finds herself living by herself in a one bedroom apartment in a poorer neighborhood in the West Island, depending on our food bank to get by. In losing everything, she has become fearful of having nothing, so she hoards. It came to a head in the last months because her radiator in her apartment blew and nobody could get to it, because it was covered in junk. I say covered, knowing that I could never adequately explain what her apartment has become. Denise collects everything, and she has been doing this since 2002. Her apartment is full of junk. 6 feet high. Not piles, the whole thing. She has to crawl and climb to get anywhere, not that there is anywhere to go. Her kitchen is only recognizable because you can see one top corner of her fridge. Her bathroom is unusable.

Denise called me last week, desperate for help. Once her landlord saw what was going on he moved to have her evicted, and rightly so. This is a major fire hazard. The Rental Board has demanded that she get rid of everything or lose her apartment. So, I recruited 6 friends a trailer and a pick-up truck to go clean house.

5 hours , two trailer and pick-up loads later, Denise now has a small path where she can get from one end of her apartment to the other. Her bathroom is usable, but we have only scratched the surface. Her bedroom and kitchen are still buried. Unfortunately Denise will still be evicted, if she can't allow us to remove the rest.

Denise knows in one part of her mind how crazy this is, but, at the same time can't let go. All of her friends, except for one older couple, have abandoned her. So she has very little rational feedback on a regular basis. As we are loading stuff into the trailer, I see the pain in her eyes, like we are ripping out a piece of her. She know it is for the best and she must go through this, but it hurts.

I am not sure how this will end up, but we are committed to being there for Denise. She is a great lady with artistic ability and a desire to help people. There is much good in her. The question is will she ever be able to find it and let go of her fear of rejection and loss.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A beautiful day...

So, I am sitting here at On Rock, doing administrative stuff. Not my favorite, but its gotta be done. The phone rings and Pete tells me he has to run out and pick up a food donation. An hour later he arrives back with a van load of non-perishables, fruit and vegetables and some frozen food. It is amazing. On Monday, we depleted our stock in the food bank. We could not give an emergency box to a lady who asked because we had nothing to give. We were talking today about doing a food drive and getting that up and running, when the phone rings....

Pete is off to deliver that emergency food box. It's a beautiful day.



Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm Sorry....

Rina walked in the other day. She is a petite woman with blond wispy hair and looks older than she is. Older than she should. Rina looks at me with sad eyes and asks me if we are still a food bank. I tell her we are. She looks down at the floor and apologizes for being here, but she has not eaten for 3 days and needs food. I tell her there is nothing to apologize for. We are here to help, and I offer her a coffee.

Rina tells me that she is a nurses aid that had to go on medical leave due to an injury. The injury re-occurred and CSST was holding out on paying her because they suspected she was faking. This lead to depression and a further inability to work. In order to pay the bills, she let her "boyfriend" move in with her. "Boyfriend" has a drug problem and spends the little money they have on drugs.

As we are putting a box together for her, she apologizes a few more times. She is expecting to go back to work soon, but it could be a few weeks. She apologizes again. This is a woman stripped of her dignity and embarrassed that she "allowed" herself to get "this low". I assure her that, she is not a burden, and we are pleased to help her. I tell her that our regular food deliveries are on Monday and if she needs any more help to call us.

Rina thanks me, with a sad look in her eyes and apologizes for the last time as she is leaving, "sorry for bothering you"........

It is a privilege to serve Rina.



Friday, April 3, 2009

All in a days work...

We received a call yesterday from one of the schools we serve. A mother called the principal because she can't feed her kids. Her kids are a part of our school lunch program. She was desperate and emotional. Can you imagine, being in a place where you can't even provide for the basic needs of your loved ones. How gut wrenching that must be. So, the principal called us to see what we could do.

We were able to supply her with a pretty decent food box that should keep the family going for the rest of this week. It is an amazing feeling to be able to contribute to people and organizations in need in our community.

As many are aware our Wine Tasting fund raiser is in the works. We have already sold 50% of the tickets, and they haven't been printed yet. This promises to be another fun night!



Tuesday, February 10, 2009


So, Joe passed away January 28, ending his 3 year battle with cancer. In that time he was close to death on 4 or 5 occasions and God restored him. He died in his sleep, which was an incredible blessing. Right up to the day he died, he blessed everyone who entered his room. Cleaners, orderlies, nurses and Dr.'s alike, were treated with kindness, cheerfulness and compassion.

Our family will slowly come to grips with life without Joe. He was a huge part of our lives. We miss him.



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Challenges of 2009 so far

2009 is here. So far it has been a challenge to say the least. We as a family are struggling with the reality of Joe's fight with cancer. He is in the hospital receiving palliative care. Someone is with him 24 hours a day. In his weakened condition, he needs constant care. However, with all that we are going through, we are thankful. Joe was diagnosed 3 years ago and given 10 months(maybe). God restored him in amazing ways in the past three years and we are thankful for the gift of those 3 years.

As I watch him love people in the hospital, I am amazed. He has terminal cancer, yet he takes every opportunity to love and encourage everyone around him. It does not matter what their role is, orderly, nurse, patient, volunteer, Dr. or administrator, he always has a kind word of encouragement, a joke or challenge for people. Many staff drop by to say hello, ask advice or give him an update. As I consider Galatians and the fruits of the Spirit, it is very evident to me, that Joe exudes many of these fruits. God touches people through Joe. I hope that at the end of my life, I am half the man that Joe is.




Gina is a came in today. She was emotional and asking for food. She has not eaten in 4 days. She lives in the West Island. There are a lot of circumstances that have led her to the place she finds herself in. She apologizes for asking for food, a basic need that many of us take for granted. It still amazes me at times that there is so much need in the West Island.

Christmas is over, but the need has not changed, except to get worse. We are now feeding 93 families a week, with a waiting list and providing emergency boxes for people like Gina. Our school lunch program is making 100 lunches a week for local elementary schools.

Thank you to those of you who help in various ways. Together, we make a difference.



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thank You

We have been blessed this year in so many ways. I was telling a friend yesterday that as we were gearing up for the christmas food and gift distribution, my van spontaneously combusted. We found ourselves in a place where we were raising money for two projects at once. This is not an ideal place to be, but so many people, companies and churches came through on both projects. I am now in the writing thank you notes mode, but I know I am going to forget someone. I hate that feeling, so, if I miss you, THANK YOU for your generosity. We can only do what we do because of people like you.



Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year. Our Christmas rush is over and it went well. The Christmas baskets were awesome. We had help from so may places. From a local Catholic Church to companies like Vanguard Steel and Kinetex in the West Island. We even had the Beaconsfield Volunteer Rescue squad delivering boxes. We are fortunate enough have a surplus for January, one of our slowest months of the year. So, when all is said and done 92 families recieved gifts and turkey dinners to celebrate with their family. This Christmas was a glowing example of the fact that together, we can make a difference. Thank you to all who helped us this year.