Merry Christmas to everyone! Here’s hoping that despite Omicron and all the miseries we have faced in 2021, this will be a time of rest and relaxation, and of family and friends.
It’s also a time for giving, and a time to think of others, including those less fortunate.
Their idea of a happy holiday season is quite different from yours; they could be facing another Christmas without toys for the children, without a warm meal, or without a warm, dry spot to sleep.
They might be struggling to deal with a tough family situation that has been made much tougher by the pandemic. We are all grumpier these days, it seems; imagine what it must be like for those who see no way out of bad relationships.
The Times Colonist Christmas Fund is set up to help those in need, in any way that we can, today, tomorrow and well into the new year.
Your generosity has already boosted the fund toward $700,000, which would be double the pre-pandemic record, but we’re not finished yet. More money will come in over the next few days. We don’t expect to reach our 2020 total of $1.27 million, but we are giving it our best shot.
This fund drive has been a success for several reasons, starting with the generosity and community spirit of all of you. More than 1,000 individuals have donated.
Several businesses and families have given money as well. We’ve already mentioned some large donations. Here is another: This week, we picked up a cheque for $10,000 from a family that has requested, once again, to remain anonymous.
Through the fund, we direct money to established service agencies throughout the Island. They know who is in need, and they have support systems in place.
In many ways, our Christmas Fund serves as a short-term safety net, one that will help the less fortunate get back on their feet.
As we have said before, those people could be your neighbours or your friends. In the past couple of years, several people close to me have needed help after hitting the bottom because of the pandemic or the economic harm that it caused, or the natural catastrophes caused by the changing climate.
In other words, the people who are being helped by all of you generous souls might not fit in any of the usual ideas about the needy. They are everywhere; they are the people we see every day.
They will not always know that the help came from you, or from our fund; all they will know is that help was there when it was needed.
And in the end, that is all that matters.
The Christmas season is a time to help those neighbours.
Your donation does not need to be huge, because every little bit helps. You can make a difference.
HOW TO DONATE
Go to our fundraising page at timescolonist.com/donate; that takes you to the Canada Helps website, which is open 24 hours a day and 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. Monday through Friday.
Dave Obee is editor and publisher of the Times Colonist.