Kindness has a ripple effect.
That’s something that Lynn Arsenault’s son Daniel used to say all the time. It’s a truth he lived by until complications from Muscular Dystrophy ended his life on earth on Dec. 7, 2018. But while his own acts of kindness may have ended that day, his legacy continues to make waves in Pictou County.
In honour of Daniel, Andrea Fuller and Lynn Arsenault started a group to meet needs in Pictou County. It’s called Pictou County Helpers and can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pictoucountyhelpers.
“Daniel was always about giving to others and making sure that others were cared for. He had a passion for so many other charities. That really to me was inspiring,” said Fuller, who came up with the idea for the Facebook page.
The group is only a couple months old, but already has more than 700 followers online and has helped dozens of people in need this winter.
The way it works is that if someone has a need, they message the administrators of the group privately. The administrators then do what they can to fill that need by either supplying something that’s already been donated or by making a request on the Facebook page specifying the need. Sometimes they’ve approached area businesses to see if they can assist. For every need, there’s been someone else in Pictou County willing to meet it.
In recent weeks they’ve been able to provide people with everything from firewood and wood pellets to groceries and furniture.
Fuller said they’ve particularly seen a large need to help families affected by domestic abuse.
“No one knows about these people,” she said. “They don’t know what they’re going through.
The abuser gets to keep the home and the abused has to start over again.”
Some people haven’t been able to donate items, but they’ve offered their time or have provided trucks for moving wood for instance.
The response from those being helped has been overwhelming, Fuller said. Many have been brought to tears as food has arrived or bags of wood pellets to thaw their pipes.
All of this is done as anonymously as possible.
“Even within the group we keep it as confidential as we can,” said Arsenault. “We only release what information is necessary to attain things for their needs, because that’s what it’s all about.”
Cases are now coming in so quickly, that the administrators are triaging them in order to meet the more urgent needs first. They are also pointing them in the right director for other assistance and information that they might not know about such as Nova Scotia’s 211 Help Line.
Arsenault hopes that people will continue to donate and help continue to meet the needs of others. She knows that people will find as Daniel did that there is a reward in helping others.
“It’s all about the feeling it gives you. Daniel would just beam with pride if he could give someone something that meant the world to them.”
Pictou County Helpers is now in the process of becoming a registered charity. To find out more check them out on Facebook or email email@example.com.