Carp teen creates homemade winter wonderland to support the Ottawa Food Bank

OTTAWA — Ava James-Sidoli is not your average Ottawa teenager.

The 15-year-old has raised over $50,000 in the past two years for the Ottawa Food Bank, the Canadian Cancer Society and BGC Ottawa, the Boys and Girls Club.

Sidoli was recently named the 2021 Ottawa Food Bank Holiday Food Drive Youth Ambassador and is doing her part to support the cause by creating a “Winter Wonderland” on her front lawn at her home in Carp.

Her parents pitched in to help make it happen. Her mother, Elizabeth Laffin–Sidoli, very proud.

“It’s overwhelming, it is a lot of work but to see the impact she has made in the community in the last two years has been very rewarding,” Laffin-Sidoli said. “It completes Christmas.”

Sidoli’s goal is to create a festive place for people to drop off their non-perishable food or cash donations for the Ottawa Food Bank. She hopes people will take pictures and share them to help spread the word and show they care about a cause close to her heart.

“I want to get other kids involved with what I am doing, that’s what it’s really about,” Sidoli said. “Last year I collected 2,000 lb of food and that was like a lot, but it’s a great feeling.”

According to the Ottawa Food Bank, the pandemic has hit them hard. Overall spending is up 15 per cent compared to this time last year and they have seen a 17 per cent increase in usage. With COVID forcing them to cancel fundraisers and the increased demands placed on their services, the need for support this Christmas season is urgent.

If you want to stop in and make a donation to support the Ottawa Food Bank, Ava’s Winter Wonderland can be found at 184 Rivington St. in Carp. They are 

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