StuffIn Stockings came to be in 2010 based on a very simple goal - to send one or three stockings out to some children in need in Waterloo Region. But what started out as a 'few' stockings grew quickly to over 200 as the founder's friends and a local company (Quarry!) found out about the idea. It's amazing how quickly something simple yet so magical can catch on.
In Year 2, we collected stuffed stockings from individuals, families, clubs, groups and companies and sent 750 lovely (and made with love) bundles to children, youth and some adults through approximately 10 charities. Fast forward to last year - 2016 - and we sent out 2,100 stockings! And what is so especially heartwarming is that now, anyone in need can received a stocking - newborn babies, children, youth (teens), adults, New Canadians, adults living with disabilities, seniors, homeless men and more - Wow!!
It is our vision that everyone should feel special and remembered on Christmas day. We are thrilled to say that our community is making sure that we are helping to create memories for many in need.
StuffIn Stockings was started by St. Jacobs mum and entrepreneur Carolyn Parks, but was offiicially adopted by the Lions Club of St. Jacobs in its third year and is now completely a group 'elf' project thanks to the efforts of this service minded club and other very active community members.
Our committee this year includes the following people:
Carolyn Parks - Chair
Carolyn is Chair of StuffIn Stockings. She is a long time resident of Waterloo Region and a member of the St. Jacobs Lions Club. She comes from an events planning and marketing background; she founded the Total Woman Show, a premier consumer event now hosted by The Waterloo Region Record. Carolyn is mum to two children and lives in St. Jacobs with her family. She loves to sing, is new to Dragon Boat racing, and has taken up a hobby in felting.
Deborah Malloy is a busy wife and mother of three daughters. She's an entrepreneur, and loves being involved with the community. She has a strong background in art, marketing, and sales. A holiday enthusiast, she is passionate about food and family and loves any excuse to throw a party. Together with her children, she has founded Goat Drive in which her family makes ornaments and donates the proceeds to charity.
Jennifer Brown is originally from Florida, but has jumped into Canadian life, having lived in the wonderful town of St. Jacobs for 14 years. She is a mom to two wonderful boys, married for 22 years to her best friend, and is a business owner. Jennifer has had the pleasure of volunteering in many different positions at St. Jacobs Public School and with youth football/sports. She finds it rewarding giving back to the community and being a good role model to her children.
Tracey Phillips is a busy lady and active member of the St. Jacobs Lions Club. Working full time at Home Hardware in Elmira, Tracey is very active as a community member and enjoys time with family and friends. She is indispensable with StuffIn Stockings; her enthusiasm and dedication is never ending!
Lizzy Kemka is a Jesus loving wife and mother and has one full-of- life son. She loves meeting new people and making a difference to those around her. With a full time job in senior care and as a new entrepreneur with her own tea business, Lizzy is also excited to be a part of Stuffin Stockings!
Rachel Gibson - Charity Liaison
Rachel is a former manager for the organic/ natural meat business Beretta Farms Inc in Toronto. Since moving to Kitchener a couple years ago, she has decided to slow down and enjoy being a Mum and wife. She is really excited to put her organizational skills to work at Stuffin Stockings and to help keep the magic of Christmas alive for those who need it!
Jenn May is a Woolwich mum of two kids - a daughter 8 years old, and a son 10 years old. She is a stay at home mom who is ironically rarely at home as she is an active volunteer in the school and broader community!
Natasha Bitsakakis Pack is an energized stay at home mom of two daughters. With a past career in real estate, Natasha is no stranger to juggling many plates. She loves to give back to her community and is looking forward bringing smiles to those in our community. Natasha also enjoys trying new things, and has taken up Hip Hop lessons this year!
Michelle Steingart is a mum of two teenage sons and Office Manager at Sanguen Health Centre in Waterloo. Michelle is always smiling, except for when she is on the edge of her seat watching her younger son compete in mountain bike races and watching her eldest take on his first year at University of Waterloo. Always willing to help, Michelle looks forward to helping StuffIn this year!
Larissa Roszell is a mum of two young children and new resident of Waterloo Region, and is excited by the opportunity to get involved in the community, helping to spread some cheer during the holiday season.
Brenda McBay lives with her family in Heidelberg. In 2010, along with charter members, Brenda and husband Bill chartered the Kin Club of Woolwich. The club has since raised close to $200,000 for local charities through events like the Grand River Amazing Race, Silent Auction and the Pamper Yourself for a Year Raffle. In Brenda's spare time, she enjoys friends, family time, singing, gardening and travelling.
Julie Phillips - Treasurer
Julie is a busy entrepreneur and mom to 3 kids, running her accounting and book keeping business. In between family, work and building cottages, Julie is an avid runner, taking on marathons across North America (including Boston!). Oh, and she and husband Blake manage to find enough 'spare time' to constantly renovate cottages or dive as many bodies of water internationally as they can!
Mel Fishman - 2016 Chair/Advisor
Mel runs the St. Jacobs Community Association and is an active member of the St. Jacobs Lions Club. She is an active events planner, working to produce Blocktoberfest with Block 3 Brewing and the St. Jacobs Lions Club as well as the fabulously successful St. Jacobs Amazing Race. A mum of two very active kids, Mel is always engaged with her community.
Linda Hayes excited to volunteer with StuffIn for the 1st time this year. Linda is an Office Manager for an International company and her spare time is spent with her family, including 2 grown sons and one grandson. Originally from the UK, but raised in the GTA, Linda has made Waterloo Region her home for the past 18 months. Volunteering is a passion, along with website design/development, photography and baking. Making others happy is the greatest JOY for Linda.
It must be mentioned that StuffIn Stockings cannot take place without a lot more helping hands...with the St. Jacobs Lions Club championing the cause and with many enthusiastic volunteers from companies and families offering their help in stuffing and delivering stockings, this is an amazing group effort.