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Local business shows love to frontline workers, The Gathering Place

An initiative to show love to frontline workers has turned into a donation to a community pillar.

Gateway Signs has been selling stickers and signs around the region with pandemic-related messages, which included appreciative messages to frontline workers. Proceeds from the signs have been donated to The Gathering Place.

Rick Vezina, owner of Gateway Signs says that it’s nice to give back to the community during unusual times.

“It’s really important for us to give back in a time like this because everyone is in need and they don’t have it. You can’t fundraise right now because of COVID,” Vezina explained.

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Denis Chippa, Executive Director of The Gathering Place says that this and any other donations are increasingly important.

“The funds are crucial at any time especially with the way things have been with COVID,” he said. “It’s extra food, it’s extra to-go trays, it’s extra sanitizing efforts.”

Chippa says The Gathering Place has seen an increase in its clientele since September. Last week alone saw nearly 1200 meals given out, according to its Facebook page.

Chippa says that community support, however, has remained consistent.

“The thing about North Bay that makes it so amazing is how quickly and how well the community responds,” he said.

The appreciation goes beyond the staff and volunteers of The Gathering Place, with Chippa adding that the clientele recognizes the support.

“When they’re down on their luck and homeless… to know that there are individuals who care about them and care about the groups that are helping them, I think is amazing,” said Chippa.

Gateway Signs raised nearly $1300 through its sign campaign, which was topped up to a $2,000 donation to The Gathering Place.

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