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Spring '12 Newsletter Everyone can do something I love Louis Armstrong's song, What a Wonderful World. Sometimes I need to be reminded that the world is a wonderful place and life is a great adventure worth all the toil and sweat. My wife and I are enjoying our first grandchild, born last October. When I come home from work, tired from dealing all day with someone's problems and see him smile that toothless grin at me and when I hold him in my arms, all the cares flee away. Here is life in its simplest, purest form, and I rejoice. Wow, life is good! I hope you know what I mean. Of course, life is not great nor the world wonderful for many. To watch a large, thriving factory suddenly close with hundreds of people thrown out of work inevitably means some of those people, their lives shattered, will be coming to the Ark for meals and other services. We've seen that from other layoffs. I lived in Africa and know that by most of the world's standards I am already an old man past my time. We worry about keeping our health care. Millions have never had any and never will. Despite the admirable ambitions of the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals, global poverty is actually increasing. We have money for war but not for peace! What makes our world a wonderful place is, simply stated, love. People caring for one another is always a cause of wonder – in the wide sense of that term. Why do we care for someone who can never do anything for us? Why spend time and money on anything or anyone other than ourselves? Jesus said it is better to give than to receive. He was right! Some have figured out that you 'give yourself rich.' Misers are miserable. Givers are lovers and lovers have joy. I am getting to know the Ark's donors and it is apparent that in giving they are making the world a better place at least for someone, and nothing is greater in life than doing that. Last year, 784 people, businesses, churches, service clubs, employee associations and foundations gave some $283,000, plus virtually all the food we used to serve 24,000 hot meals. The median donation was $100 (half was above and half below that amount). The average donation was $274. Hundreds of people volunteered their time to help in some way. I don't know how to calculate the value of all that but it has to be somewhere near a million dollars. But really, all that giving, changing the world for someone, all that implied love and realized joy is priceless.

2011 Expenses: $270,189 2012 Budget:


Monthly Budget: $21,744

Recently one of our donors came in and handed me an envelope with her gift. I had not met her but I recognized her name from previous donations. I thanked her for her support. She replied, “It's not a lot but I do what I can.� I love that response because that is what makes a difference. For all the billionaires with their foundations doing good work, the fact remains that 80% of all charitable giving is from individuals like my donor friend. No gift is small when it comes from the heart, given with joy. Those gifts are what change the world. A couple of local business owners have come in and offered their services at reduced cost to our clients. One of our friends is taking up their offer. He went to Beck Hearing Aid Centre and discovered he had 55% hearing loss. They are fixing him up with hearing aids with funds he is eligible for so he can afford them. He also went to Riverside Denture Centre where they are doing the same with dentures. He is a new man because someone is doing what they can. Other businesses are helping us with work around the building and supplies. There is a list of supportive businesses on our website and I encourage you to express your appreciation to them when you can. Everybody doing something. It adds up. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world! The Ark Aid Street Mission, Inc

696 Dundas Street E., London, Ontario N5W 2Z4 Tel. 519-667-0322 Fax: 226-289-3045 E-mail: Web:

The Ark in Pictures

Champion Life Church donated food

Lizzie organized a coat drive

Swiss Chalet gave 2 nights of meals

CC High School coat drive

I was able and blessed to cut 13 heads of hair tonight. I enjoyed conversation and helping everyone look and feel wonderful. To know that I am helping others is a blessing to me. Thank you for the experience and privilege. See you in April! - evening volunteer Sailing On It seems I always say the Ark is busy and in fact, it is. Since the middle of last October, we have served a meal 7 nights a week, except for 3 weeks. In both January and February we served more than 2100 each month. If those numbers hold, we will serve some 25,000 meals, probably up a 1000 from last year, which was up 1000 from the year before. Of course, that means we need a lot more food. Those donations have been steady – nothing large but we seem to be holding our own. When you realize that our budget does not include a line for food, you know how much we depend upon those donations – and how faithful those donors are. Every week this winter we have had some fresh fruit to give out which is a big change from a couple of years ago. So, not only are we serving more food, but healthier food. Our Christmas newsletter received a very good response. This newsletter is to say thank you as much as it is to let you know our present needs. It is so important to finish the year with all the bills paid and some funds on hand to carry us into the winter. We do our best to watch every dollar We take your trust seriously. But, this winter we have had some challenges. Both our rooftop furnaces required repair in January. $1600. Our main sewer drain was blocked – someone put something where they shouldn't. $400. Then there are the budgeted items, such as building and liability insurance due in February. $8300. Hydro is going up. $3350 for utilities in the first two months of the year. Payroll taxes have increased and that also effects the employer. All that to say, if you feel you can, the Ark and the people it serves can use your help. You are always welome to drop by and see the Ark in action. If your church or group, large or small would like a first-hand report, just call – we are always happy to tell the Ark's wonderful story. Doug Whitelaw Executive Director

Spring '12 Newsletter  
Spring '12 Newsletter  

Ark Aid Street Mission Spring '12 newsletter