Ladies’ Auxiliary of the ANAF, Unit 318: “Do what you can, if you can, when you can, how you can.”

Matthew McCully
 Ladies’ Auxiliary of the ANAF, Unit 318:  “Do what you can, if you can, when you can, how you can.”
Judy Williams (left), treasurer and Doreen Morissette (right), president of the ANAF Unit 318 (The Hut) Ladies’ Auxiliary presenting a cheque for $1,000 to Lennoxville Elementary School Principal Dawn Irving (centre), for the school’s Christmas Basket campaign.

By Matthew McCully

And they did just that!

Recently the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the ANAF, Unit 318 (The Hut) in Lennoxville donated $5,000, divided among six different community organizations.

“We are fortunate to be in a position to be able to help when the need is so great,” explained Ladies’ Auxiliary President Doreen Morissette.

“We know the need is there, this year more than ever,” she said.

It’s not new, by any means, for the benevolence of the Ladies’ Auxiliary to stretch beyond the walls of The Hut.

Yes, they do provide support to The Hut, to keep the building in good shape by contributing to heating costs and other expenses, like the major water piping upgrade in recent years.

But in the 50 plus years the group has existed, the Ladies’ Auxiliary has also been supporting the local community in various ways.

At one point the group used to host a children’s Christmas party, and they have also offered bursaries to students in the past.

According to Morissette, initiatives used to extend to the children and relatives of members of The Hut when a need was demonstrated.

Times have changed, Morissette said, and as the needs have evolved, so has the group.

“Back then, there were no Christmas baskets,” the president said, remembering when she joined the Ladies’ Auxiliary 40 years ago.

This year, the group donated to the Christmas Basket campaigns at Lennoxville Elementary and Galt, as well as Mental Health Estrie’s HUGS for the Homeless project, the Lennoxville and District Women’s Centre’s Secret Santa, the Lennoxville Library and Aube Lumière.

So how do they do it?

Hard work, but Morissette assured it’s also lots of fun.

“We have a great time together. It’s always nice to hear laughter in the kitchen,” she said.

The group holds suppers, card parties, and also funeral lunches, a service few venues in the area have available. The Military Whist every second Wednesday is also quite popular, Morissette added.

Of course, many hands make light work, but with members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary getting older, many can’t help the way they used to. “And younger members are still working, so it doesn’t leave a whole lot of us in that middle bracket to do the work,” Morissette said.

“We’re always ready to welcome new members willing to volunteer with different projects,” the president said, adding everyone knows their own limits. “Do what you can, if you can, when you can, how you can,” is the motto she follows.

“A lot of people think you can only walk through the door if you’re a member,” Morissette said, wanting to assure locals that everyone is welcome to stop by The Hut and see what goes on.

“Our priority had always been to help our local community with projects they’ve got going,” she said, inviting organizations in the area to reach out to the Ladies’ Auxiliary when they are in need.

“If a charity needs something, reach out, and we’ll help if we can.”

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