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Christmas Fund reaches $1.24 million, boosted by flurry of donations

After a flurry of donations on Thursday — the deadline for charitable donations in the 2020 tax year — as well as a few more on New Year’s Day, your Times Colonist Christmas Fund has reached $1,243,452.
Times Colonist Christmas Fund logo

After a flurry of donations on Thursday — the deadline for charitable donations in the 2020 tax year — as well as a few more on New Year’s Day, your Times Colonist Christmas Fund has reached $1,243,452.

That is a $891,000 more than the $352,000 we raised in 2019, hard evidence of the commitment that all of us are making to help our neighbours get through the pandemic.

We expect a few more donations to arrive by mail for the next week or so. That means the final total will go even higher.

COVID-19 has helped some people and some businesses, but many others have been hurt. There is real suffering in our community, and the Christmas Fund is here to help, in the holiday season and in the months to come.

Even with the vaccine being rolled out, it’s generally thought that the harsh impact will continue to be felt for a few more months. Some businesses might not recover until 2022 or 2023 — and that means that the people who rely on those businesses might have trouble coping.

The Christmas Fund was created by the old Daily Colonist in 1956 to help those in need have a better Christmas. Today, the fund is run by a charitable society, and our goal is to draw lasting impact from the money that has been donated.

To that end, the society board members looks for meaningful ways to put the money to work. We owe it to all donors to use the money as effectively as we can.

We have already helped the Mustard Seed Street Church, the Salvation Army in Victoria, the Goldstream Food Bank, the Sooke Food Bank, the Saanich Peninsula Food Bank, the Victoria Women’s Transition House, and the Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees.

Recipients north of the Malahat include Nourish Cowichan in Duncan, the Cobble Hill-Mill Bay-Shawnigan Lake Food Bank, the Lake Cowichan Food Bank, the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank in Nanaimo, the Salvation Army in Port Alberni, Parksville and Campbell River, the food banks in the Comox Valley and Campbell River, and Food Bank on the Edge in Ucluelet.

We have also given to the food banks on Salt Spring, Mayne, Gabriola, Denman and Hornby islands.

We are grateful for the support you have given to this fund — your fund, to help your community.

How to donate

It is still possible to donate. Go online at ­­­­timescolonist.com/donate; that will take you to the Canada Helps website, which is open 24 hours a day and provides an immediate tax receipt.

If you prefer, mail a cheque, payable to the Times Colonist ­Christmas Fund Society, to the Times ­Colonist Christmas Fund, 201-655 Tyee Road, Victoria V9A 6X5.

Thanks again. You are making a difference.

dobee@timescolonist.com