Louisdale Welcome Group
Welcome rocks, sand dollars, bottles of jam and baked goodies are among the treasures newcomers to the area of Louisdale will receive in a basket from the newly formed Louisdale Welcome Group.
“There are so many new people moving into the area and we really wanted them to feel part of the community,” said Louisdale Welcome Group member Debbie Sampson.
The Louisdale Welcome Group formed in April, 2021. They assessed how many new folks had arrived in their community — then got to work right away figuring out how to best put out the Welcome Mat.
Preparing items for 34 baskets of goodies was on the top of their list of activities.
Michelle Landry was among the seven sets of hands helping to assemble all the contents of the baskets.
“I wanted to be here to welcome people to the community, to show them that we’re pretty friendly people,” says Michelle Landry. Two of her cousins are also part of the Louisdale Welcome Group. When Landry heard about it, she wanted to join. “I hope with this group we’ll achieve even more of a community welcoming spirit here in our area.”
Along with the baked goodies, the baskets also include information about local resources, a pamphlet about the Cape Breton Welcome Network, mugs from Richmond Municipality and even rocks hand-painted with flowery Welcome messages.
“Most of them are painted with landscapes of our county and they have a great big Welcome across them,” explains Debbie Sampson, who painted each one. “We thought maybe they’d like to put them outside their door or in their garden and it’ll be a nice keepsake of the welcome group.”
Louisdale is one of nine Welcome Groups across Cape Breton – Unama’ki that are all part of the Cape Breton Welcome Network, an initiative of the Cape Breton Partnership.
Although eight Louisdale Welcome Group volunteers came out to help assemble the baskets, Sampson is quick to point out more than twenty community members helped in the welcoming preparations – from baking the goodies to volunteering to bring the baskets to homes. It’s definitely an entire community effort – with more welcoming activities to come.
“Hopefully, when COVID settles down, we’ll have a nice get together and be able to welcome folks properly,” says Sampson. “I think once newcomers see that people want to welcome them, they’ll feel like part of the community.”