Dufferin resident uses Christmas decorations to generate donations for Victim Services

December 10, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A blow up singing Christmas tree, Snoopy flying a plane, snowmen, nutcrackers, and countless LED lights. One Orangeville resident is using his Christmas decorations as a way to give back to the community.

Mark Glassford has always been big into decorating for Christmas, but for the last four years he and his wife, Gert Glassford have decorated the front lawn of their Edelwild home in Orangeville to raise donations for Caledon Dufferin Victims Services.

“For Christmas time, to do this for a cause is better than doing it just for yourself,” said Glassford. “I’ve found that it’s about giving, not about receiving and I’d rather do this and give this for a cause like Victim Services.”

The fundraising effort, Glassford tells the Citizen is inspired by his own experience with loss as a child. In 1977, his childhood home burned down in a fire and when returning to school in the January, he wore his Christmas presents – a pair of corduroy jeans, a checkered shirt and a new winter jacket.

“What happened was the school raised for our family $1,700 from moms and dads just donating and giving back,” said Glassford. “I said to my wife, we need to do something.”

Forty years later, inspired by the event, Glassford started raising donations for the local Victim Services. Each year they ask families that visit the decorated lawn taking pictures or walk through to bring gift cards or presents to give to the organization.  

“That’s the best feeling you get, total strangers that come by and love it,” said Glassford, standing outside his home.

Dorothy Davis, Executive Director at Caledon Dufferin Victim Services spoke with the Citizen about the annual fundraising effort and its importance to the organization.

“It’s huge for us, we’re a small organization so we don’t have a fundraising department, we don’t have individuals dedicated to going out and raising fund for us,” said Davis. “The fact that they spontaneously did this and are engaging the community in which they live, all the efforts we do is to work in that same community. We’re working together in partnership, and that really feels good, when members of the community step up and assist us in supporting victims.”

Typically Glassford would collect cash and present donations, but with COVID-19 restrictions they’re asking those donating to give gift cards.

The event has become bigger each year for Glassford, but he is hoping that it will begin to be done by others in the community as well as in other communities.

“It needs to get bigger where it gets recognized in other communities,” he said.

During weekdays, the home will have its lights and decorations on from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and for the next two Saturdays (Dec. 12 and Dec. 19) the home will host Santa Claus.

Caledon Dufferin Victims Services will be open over the holiday 24/7, those looking for assistance or for more information can go to or call 905-951-3838. 

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.