As we approach the new year, why not gift a beautiful calendar featuring stunning photos of local wildlife to loved ones – and support an important cause as an added bonus! For the second year, Jacinta Cillis-Asquith of JacintaPICS™ is selling her photo calendars, this time with 50% of profits going to The Stittsville Food Bank.
Covering January to December 2023, the wall calendar features a different creature each month:
- January – Snowy Owl
- February – Snowshoe Hare
- March – Screech Owl
- April – Cedar Waxwing
- May – Red Fox and Baby Fox
- June – Fawn
- July – Muskrat
- August – Female Wood Duck and Turtle
- September – Twin Pileated Woodpeckers
- October – Raccoon
- November – American Goldfinch
- December – Northern Red Cardinal
“In both last year’s calendar and this year’s, a fair number of the pictures have been taken in and around Stittsville,” says Jacinta. Just like last year, Jacinta will donate a portion of profits from calendar sales to The Stittsville Food Bank. “In the past, I, members of my extended family, as well as many friends and people I know, have benefited from The Stittsville Food Bank and the Kanata Food Bank. Last year I tried to raise $1,000 with my calendars as a way to give back. I started in late November and was able to raise almost $400. On December 23rd, 2021, I was able to send $375 as a donation,” she says.
Having started much earlier this year, Jacinta has doubled the donation portion. Fifty percent of each calendar sale will go to The Stittsville Food Bank to get the most funds to help families in need, which she recognizes is especially vital in the holiday season. “Everyone is finding that the cost of food is rising. People I know who volunteer/work at various food banks in Ontario relay that the number of people and families that truly need help from food banks is at an all-time high.”
New this year, calendars can be purchased in person at Jameel Insurance and Financial Services Limited (at the corner of Johnwoods and Hazeldean). Jacinta was happy to get the assistance of Jameel Lalji this year to make it easier for the community to get her calendars and thus help to support an important cause. “I am thankful for his support as he has been a friend of the food bank, running several events over the last couple of years in aid of the Stittsville Food Bank.”
Having taken photos for most of her life, Jacinta started her Facebook page, JacintaPICS, in 2016. “I mainly shared the images I was taking during the week. As an animal lover, almost every picture is of an animal, bird, or creature of some sort. I also took nature photos of landscapes and flowers. When I go out, I have my camera with me and am delighted to learn many things about creatures I might not know if I wasn’t observing them with a zoom lens,” Jacinta shares.
Her Facebook page now has over 6,000 likes. Jacinta has used some of her photos as references for watercolour images she paints herself, and has also branched into photo greeting cards, which she sells at vendor events. “I also have a small greeting card company called JacintaINK™ that features greeting cards and small gift items based on my original artwork.”
Jacinta’s goal is to raise $2,000 before Christmas. “I am thrilled to report I have already raised $500 for the Stittsville Food Bank!” Available for purchase from her online store or at Jameel Insurance and Financial Services Limited, the calendars sell for $19.99. Jacinta offers free delivery in the Stittsville area (use coupon code STITTSVILLE) and charges for shipping outside of the local area.