Gina Deer hands Lucie Lanthier a cheque for $500, in hope to help those struggling with food security during these winter months.
(COURTESY GINA DEER)
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“During COVID-19, we have really turned things around.”
Now that’s a sentence we don’t hear very often.
Although many businesses are struggling to stay afloat, Dépanneur et Gas Guimond has been thriving through the dreaded global pandemic.
This neighbourhood depanneur and gas station in Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides, which is adjacent to Tioweró:ton and run by a friendly-faced Gina Deer, has decided to give back and share their success of the last unpredictable few months.
“We have decided to give $500 to the town of St. Lucie and $500 to Kahnawake Shakotiia’takehnhas Community Services (KSCS) for Christmas food baskets,” said Deer.
Deer’s business was not always as prosperous as it is now. As many business owners can attest, success and loss is often a complex balancing act.
“We have been a struggling business since the beginning and have been through a lot of hardships over the years,” said Deer.
Between a flood that cost them in damages among other money-draining events, they were forced to remain vigilant over almost a decade of business.
After developing a wealth of knowledge and experience in the intricacies of running a business in a small community, Deer, who is also a Mohawk Council chief, feels it’s important to help others facing similar hardships.
Especially because these were the exact shoes she was once in.
“We thought it was important to give back in light that we are doing better,” she said.
Deer explained that like the rest of the world, there were many difficult decisions to be made as a business owner at the beginning of a pandemic.
This being said, her clients did encourage her to keep her doors open, and promised that they would continue to show up and help keep her business alive.
“They made a commitment and we always try to ensure that we give good service to our clients,” she explained.
In St. Lucie, Deer’s business is the only gas station, meaning people would have to go all the way to St. Agathe just to fill up their tank. With this in mind, Deer assured that her station is also filled with many other essential foods and supplies that one might need.
Deer’s support and selflessness did not go unnoticed. She will be presenting the donations to KSCS, to support Kahnawake Christmas baskets in the near future, and has already given the donation to the food bank in St. Lucie.
Lucie Lanthier works for the local food bank up north and said that when they saw the donation, they were ecstatic.
Lanthier explained that because COVID-19 will limit their ability to go door-to-door, donations like this make a huge difference. “This will help us greatly with our Christmas baskets this year.”
Lanthier said every single week, a member of her team goes to Deer’s store to get milk for the food bank. Lanthier said that because they are a small food bank, the $500 donation will reach far beyond what they would have hoped.
“A big thank you to Ms. Deer. This donation will be a big help to families in St. Lucie,” she said with a smile.