Come celebrate the impacts we’ve achieved together and look to the future. Caledon East Community Complex (6125 Old Church Rd, Caledon East). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. See you there! Together we are making Caledon better.

Main Feature Image Desktop Events Kathryn
Pioneer Medal

November 2022

From Vision to Blessing

CM OSE PIO K Mac Duffee Web 2024 06 17 FNL

Kathryn and her husband moved to Caledon in 1972, they were building a home together, a “house on a hill” as she lovingly called it. Before then, they had never stayed put for very long, so this felt permanent. As they built the foundation for their life together, Kathryn knew that meant planting roots in the community as well. Raised with expressions like “love thy neighbour” and “do our part to make this heaven on earth,” she naturally and intentionally wanted to do what she could where she lived and would eventually raise her 4 children.

As Kathryn settled into Caledon, she witnessed the highs and lows of rural life, an imbalance between thriving and surviving felt stark. Early on, Bob Nicholls called for a group of volunteers to start an information center. At the time, there was no one you could call for guidance if you needed help in Caledon. Kathryn learnt first-hand the challenges facing residents in the size of Caledon and the seemingly overwhelming problems they were working to fix. Kathryn wasn’t intimidated though, she knew she wasn’t alone. With optimism and excitement, she took her first steps and unknowingly planted a seed for what would later become Caledon Community Services, commonly known as CCS.

From vision to blessing support

Kathryn was an educator and well-respected columnist at a local paper. Her column, Country Roads, was well-loved and a go-to read by many. She turned her celebrated status in the community to CCS’s advantage. An influencer before social media influencers were a thing. In 1982, she came up with CCS’s thrift store name – Chez Thrift, by responding to a contest in her column. She fondly looks back at being invited to cut the red ribbon at the store’s grand opening. She wrote about how happy she was to ride Caledon’s first ever community transportation in the early 1990s and its impact on residents, something her mom would benefit from decades later. She was stunned when the food program in a small utility closet grew to the Exchange, additionally offering fresh produce, dairy items and overall holistic community nourishment. For 30+ years, Kathryn championed CCS in her community personally and through her work because it naturally aligned with her column’s purpose - to inform and make the world a better place.

While she was always grateful for the work of CCS, it wasn’t until her mother used their respite services that she really felt the impact. For her, her mother’s care was worth its weight in gold, because of Kathryn’s initiative to help the community, she was also able to see the impact of her actions and benefit from them. For Kathryn, volunteering was a way of life. Even though she had no idea what CCS would grow into back then, she believed in the work and wanted to do her part to make a difference.

To stay inspired and up-to-date with Kathryn, follow her uplifting blog, The Open Press.

Never miss a story!

events Hero



CCS Founding Volunteer


CCS Founder



Individuals supported


Lbs. of food donated


Food pantry visits

Discover how you can make a positive impact for future generations.