The last thing in the world Cathy McRae wants or needs is a pat on the back. That’s because when your many random acts of kindness and helpfulness come as naturally as they do to Cathy, no thanks is necessary. “I always want to share and help with those who could use a little bit of extra help,” Cathy says. “Obviously the homeless need help, but in times of COVID, our neighbors might need help, too. If we have the ability to help people, then we should help them.”

After working in Information Technology (IT) for twenty years, in 2015 Cathy started her Sarnia-based business Coming Alive Nutrition. She is a Registered Nutritional Consultant Practitioner, Certified Holistic Cancer Practitioner, and has a Bachelor of Science degree. And she is always on the lookout to help others. “In our community, I do a Warm Hearts, Warm Hands program where I collect hats, scarves, and winter coats and I put them in bags and as I am driving around, if I see somebody who is down on their luck, I get out of the car and give them a bag,” Cathy says. “This year I added sleeping bags, too, and I give them gift cards so they can get a warm meal.”

Another initiative Cathy supports is the Cinderella Project, an agency in town that collects gently used wedding dresses and prom gowns to give to girls for no charge. “I collected and donate 125 little brand-new clutch purses and populated them with things like Kleenex, lip gloss, and an emergency phone number. They got to pick the colour that matched their dress.”

Cathy’s kindness knows no bounds. She has done back-to-school projects where she hands out backpacks filled with school essentials to students at low-income schools; supported a children’s ward by stuffing pencil cases with candy and colouring books and having nurses distribute them to young patients, and she has donated meal solution kits and gift cards to 25 local families. “I just see somebody in need of help, and I help them. Everybody has the capacity to give others a little bit of time.”