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P.E.I. woman looking for warehouse to store items she gives away

John Brown, Betty Begg, James MacKay, Ellie Trainor and Rob Brooks volunteer at the Gifts from the Heart event on Jan. 19 at the Hillsborough Community Centre, serving soup, clothes and goods to those in need.
John Brown, Betty Begg, James MacKay, Ellie Trainor and Rob Brooks volunteer at the Gifts from the Heart event on Jan. 19 at the Hillsborough Community Centre, serving soup, clothes and goods to those in need. - Katie Smith

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A woman who has spent the better part of six decades helping others is now looking for the public’s help.

Betty Begg of Charlottetown has been assisting those less fortunate for 57 years and is no stranger to understanding what it means to live without the basics in life.

“When I was a child, I was hungry. We had nothing,” Begg said, following her Gifts from the Heart event held Jan. 19 at the Hillsborough Community Centre, where she handed out clothes, goods and close to 325 pounds of soup to patrons.

“I know the feeling of hunger and I know the feeling of having nothing.”

For the past four years, Begg has run a non-profit service out of her home where she feeds and clothes those in need.

She operates 365 days a year, serving thousands during that time. And she never turns anyone away.

“Anybody can come to my house. They can get food, they can get clothing, they can get anything, any day.”

Begg’s operation has grown to the point she can no longer house all the goods and is now in search of a space.

“What I’m trying to do is get the attention of the powers that be and get us a warehouse so we have this downtown, so we can serve people that need things.”

Begg is particular about what she gives away.

“We sort (the goods) and we only give what you or I would use. No tears, no stains, no nothing.”

One of the volunteers on hand during the event, James MacKay, said he’s thankful for the work Begg’s does and has been helping her for the past 15 years.

“She has helped me out a lot. She has helped out a lot of people. Anyone who needs help, she’s there for them with food, clothing – anything they need. She does it out of the good of her own heart.”

MacKay says he’s been the recipient of Begg’s compassion himself.

“If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have the stuff that I have. So I want to help her back.”

Begg is currently in search of one big-ticket item that would really help a gentleman in need: an airtight stove.

Donations are always welcome and can be dropped off at Begg’s home at 45 Hurry Rd. in West Royalty. She can be reached at bettybegg@gmail.com.

 

katie.smith@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/PEIGuardian

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