After being helped by the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence during several trying years, Brian Godin (second from right) decided to give back to the community by raising funds for the Chaplain’s Christmas Hamper Fund. He presented about $2,000 in CANEX cards to Padre Captain Moley Mangana (second from left) on Dec. 11. Also on hand for the presentation were Shawn Zimmerling (left), and Mike Moreau (right). (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

Giving back during the holidays: group effort raises $2,000 for Chaplain’s Hamper Fund

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday January 9, 2020

Brian Godin knows what it’s like to depend on the kindness of strangers.

Within three years, he and his family experienced two floods and a devastating house fire in which they lost everthing, all while navigating the difficult insurance world. During this time of need, he was supported by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Department of National Defence (DND) community.

“We had lots of help from different people,” he said. “People really stepped up to help. It was some real tough times.”

Now that he is comfortably back on his feet working as an electrical contractor at Garrison Petawawa, he decided to give back.

At first, he was going to donate what he personally could to Garrison Petawawa’s Chaplain’s Christmas Hamper Fund but realized that he could make a bigger impact by including friends and fellow contractors and collecting what they could donate.

“Nobody said no,” Godin said.

Together they raised approximately $2,000, which was added to the hampers in the form of CANEX gift cards. This will allow people receiving them to purchase what they truly need.

“When you think about what the military does for us, it is certainly a worthy cause,” said Godin.

He knows there are military members who need assistance during the holidays, and these hampers are essential in providing them with a helping hand.

Padre Captain (Capt) Moley Mangana was very pleased to see this donation; the 2019 hampers went out to 65 families, which include about 152 children.

Any money left over from the donation will help struggling families all year round.

“We am very, very grateful for Brian and his efforts and all these guys,” said the chaplain. “They are going to be helping a lot of people.”

Those who helped Godin raise the funds include Shawn Zimmerling from Dexterra, Daly Contracting, Jason Ryan, Expressions Painting, Kurtis Godin Carpentry, Mike Moreau from Moreau Plumbing and RM Floor Sanding.