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Dave Obee: Christmas Fund brings warmth to those in need; donate by Friday to receive 2021 tax credit

Money goes to Island charities who help people in need, such as the Salvation Army and Mustard Seed Street Church
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Donate to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund at timescolonist.com/donate

This week’s cold snap has made it tough to be outside for very long. Even when we are bundled up, with heavy coats and mittens and boot warmers and the like, it’s nice to get back into our nice warm homes.

Now, think about those less fortunate — the people who are making do with whatever they can, finding shelter from the wind and the cold wherever they can.

They might not have suitable clothing. They might not have food or shelter. It’s a hard life for many people in our community.

And think of the ones who have housing, housing that might not be like yours. Maybe they are afraid to turn up the heat, dreading the bills that they will not be able to pay.

Many people on Vancouver Island are in need. The Times Colonist Christmas Fund is here to help them, through this season and into the new year. (­Hunger doesn’t end on Dec. 26, and ­neither do the good works that your donations provide; among the recipients of Christmas Fund grants are food banks that ­provide aid throughout the year.)

The fund would not be possible without the support of our readers, people like you and you. You understand the need, and you know that a few dollars can make a huge difference for those less fortunate.

So far this year, more than 1,000 people have donated more than $711,000, and we are not finished yet. (Last year, when we raised more than ever before, about $350,000 of the total came in after Christmas.)

We are sure there will be more cheques in the mail, and we will be opening them as soon as they come in. Every one will boost our total a bit higher, and every one will be appreciated.

A reminder: Your donation to the Christmas Fund will give you a tax credit that will reduce the income tax you owe. The deadline for credits for 2021 is Friday, Dec. 31.

Donations made by telephone, or online through the Canada Helps portal, must be made on or before Dec. 31. Donations by mail must be dated Dec. 31 or earlier.

Another reminder: The people who are being helped might include your neighbours and friends. They might not fit in any of the usual ideas about the needy. Those in need might be hiding in plain sight.

Our fund allows us to direct money to established service agencies throughout the Island. It is designed to help the less fortunate get back on their feet. With your help, it can help even more.

There’s still time for you to make a difference.

Thank you.

Dave Obee is editor and publisher of the Times Colonist.

HOW TO DONATE

Go to our fundraising page at timescolonist.com/donate; that takes you to the Canada Helps website; it provides an immediate tax receipt.

Mail a cheque to Times Colonist Christmas Fund, 201-655 Tyee Road, Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5.

Use your credit card by ­phoning 250-995-4438 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.