I missed adding this to the blog earlier, but my December 2018 article in the Kitchissippi Times was focused on the important turning point in Ottawa's history when an organized relief effort was first implemented to make Christmas a happier time for those less fortunate. Though there had always been those in need and destitute in Ottawa, the Great Fire of 1900 led to incredible numbers of people who fell into that category. Though churches and some private organizations had made small efforts to a handful of people over time, it was in 1902 that a widespread project was kicked off by the Ottawa Journal newspaper, to maximize contributions and donations, personalize gift and food packages, coordinate volunteers and delivery mechanisms, and ensure timely delivery on Christmas Eve. It was an incredible effort, and such an important cause, which forever changed the way Ottawans cared for one another, particularly at Christmastime.
You can read the article at the link below: