Every year the handbell and handchime ringers get together to put on concerts at St. John’s. The concerts are free to the public with a freewill offering to be directed to outreach projects. Over the years the ringers have supported these worthy organizations.
Sleeping Children Around the World
100% of the donations to this local charity founded by the late Murray Dryden (father of NHL goalies Ken and Dave Dryden) benefit children through the distribution of bed kits in many countries. Our 2013 donation of 15 bed kits brings our total to 230 children sleeping better because of MusicFest. For more information about this organization, visit www.scaw.org
Imeteiaz, our 13-year-old Palestinian foster child, lives in a one-room dwelling with her parents, two brothers, and two sisters. She lives in a village 63 km north of Jerusalem and 42 km east of Tel Aviv. Our ringers and chimers take turns writing to her. Her return letters are always posted in the foyer. Our Ring & Sing Christmas concert also contributes to World Vision projects. For more information about this organization, visit www.worldvision.ca.
Flemingdon Park Ministry Food Bank
The area covered runs from Eglinton Avenue East (north) to O’Connor Drive (south) and from Bayview Avenue (west) to Victoria Park Avenue (east). A large portion of the generous donation by Kraft Foods (420 boxes of Kraft Dinner) went to this food bank. For more information about this organization, visit www.flemingdonparkministry.org.
Habitat for Humanity
Damien Benedict (husband of one of the ringers) has joined a team from Habitat for Humanity that spent 3 weeks in Africa during the month of August using his hammer to make a difference in that part of the world. Their project is to help build an orphanage in a remote region of Malawi. For more information about this organization, visit www.habitat.ca
In 2014, Maryanne McNeish, a ringer in the Brass Handbell Choir, spent ten days in New Orleans. She spent days helping to repair and clean up homes and a church that still have damage from Hurricane Katrina almost ten years after the storm, and she spent evenings doing street ministry teamed with adult missionaries. Maryanne also learned a lot – from worshiping in churches that are very different from St. John’s, and from seeing both the bright and the dark sides of life in New Orleans.