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Stella Michel went to the YMCA of Western NL Humber Community’s annual Peace Week celebration in Corner Brook on Tuesday night thinking she had just been nominated to receive the organization’s Peace Medallion.
That in itself was an honour for the woman behind 12 Months 12 Miracles.
So, when her friend suggested she look at the program before the event started in one of the YMCA’s rooms at the Millbrook Mall, Michel kind of brushed her off.
But the friend said it again and there was a reason for her insistence — Michel’s name was listed there not as a nominee, but as the recipient.
“I’m so excited,” she said after the presentation.
Michel started 12 Months 12 Miracles in 2016. The charitable organization does a variety of acts, from collecting school supplies for back to school, toys for the Corner Brook Fire Fighters toy drive, food for the food bank and even raising money for the YMCA to help offset the cost of summer day camp. It grew out of a New Year’s resolution from the year before where Michel completed random acts of kindness throughout the year.
Her miracles, and sometimes there ends up being more than one a month, are something that she pulls off with the help of the community and some core volunteers.
It was those people that she said she shared the award with.
“I couldn’t do this by myself. And without them, 12 Months 12 Miracles wouldn’t be near what it is.”
She said her motivation to continue comes from the group members.
“They keep me going.”
It does get tough at times, but Michel said she hates the thought of giving it up.
“Just because it brings so much joy, and so much smiles and happy tears.”
So, she will continue in 2019, but it will be a different kind of year.
“It’s going to be more time oriented,” she said.
By that Michel will be looking for people to help out with the gift of their time. For example, 12 Months 12 Miracles is teaming up with the Corner Brook Winter Carnival to hold a dance and the February miracle will be asking people to donate their time to help out at the dance.
“It’s going to get back down to basics,” she said.
“We’ve had so many extras all the time. For 2019 I’m trying to break it down to just 12.”
The award is the third Michel has received. In 2016, she received a Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation President’s Award and was the recipient of the city’s 2018 Achievement in Community Excellence Award for non-profit organization of the year.
“It’s a nice little boost,” she said of the recognition. “It puts a skip in my step to say that people are noticing what we’re doing. People are seeing what we’re doing and they’re affected by what we’re doing.”