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Local author 'thrilled' to be in Chicken Soup for Soul Christmas book

Evelyn Pollock's story was inspired by her experience ringing bells for Salvation Army at Orillia Square; 'It's an honour to be a Chicken Soup author'
Local author Evelyn Pollock is "thrilled" her short story is included in the recently published Chicken Soup for the Soul - Time for Christmas book.

An Oro-Medonte author is “thrilled" her short story — inspired by a stint ringing the bells for the Salvation Army at Orillia’s mall — is featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul - Time For Christmas book.

Evelyn Pollock says her story chronicles her “inspiring experience as a Jewish woman ringing the Christmas bells and collecting donations for the Orillia Salvation Army Christmas Kettle at the Orillia Square mall.

“Through that experience, my faith in human kindness and generosity was renewed when so many people of all backgrounds stopped by to chat as they dropped donations into the Christmas kettle,” she explained.

“It makes me very proud to be part of this community and to give people across North America a chance to read about and celebrate the kind people of Orillia,” said the active 75-year-old woman. "It's an honour to be a Chicken Soup author."

Her story — The Sally Ann Christmas Kettle — is one of 101 inspiring Christmas stories from across North America in the book.

“Also included in the book is a short story by my writing mentor, the late John Forrest, Orillia's well known author of many local Christmas stories,” said Pollock who, for years, wrote a serialized Christmas tale for the Packet & Times.

Pollock was inspired to write by her late father, who was a man of deep faith.

He “wrote articles, read incessantly, and wrote entertaining speeches for free for anyone who asked,” said Pollock, who enjoyed successful careers as a teacher, federal program manager, politician, and president of her own consulting company specializing in human rights.

She retired early to pursue her lifelong interests of writing and art.

“I was inspired to paint and sculpt by my mother who always had a half-painted canvas on an easel in our kitchen,” she added of one of her other passions.

Pollock belongs to local writing and online critique group, and enjoys hosting writers’ retreats at her Horseshoe Valley home. 

Her work has not gone unnoticed.

“I have had numerous short stories, a non-fiction book, and a book of my art published,” she said with pride.

“In addition, this month eight of my short stories were published in a new anthology, Pieces of Us,” she explained.

Pieces of Us is a collaborative effort by five female authors from five cities. The publisher, H&S Times-Temps, is local.  

“This anthology contains short stories and poems about the resilience of women, including fiction and non-fiction. Several of my stories have local themes,” said Pollock.