Dave Obee: Please give to the Christmas Fund to help people in need

We’re back, raising money for people in need during the Christmas season, just as we have done every year since 1956.

It’s simple, really. We ask our readers to donate money to help the less fortunate. We work with local agencies to distribute the funds. We — this newspaper and its employees, the agencies, and most of all you, our readers — make a huge difference in our community.

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We have raised and distributed millions of dollars through our Christmas Fund over the years, and the success of the annual campaign is a direct result of your generosity. Thank you.

We will work again this year with the Salvation Army and the Mustard Seed Street Church, which handle the distribution of hampers and gift certificates.

Our support makes possible the Mustard Seed’s annual Christmas dinner at the Bay Street Armoury. It provides a warm meal to more than 1,000 people. The dinner is truly heart-warming, and an eye-opener for those of us who have never had to worry about our next meal.

We also provide financial help to Our Place. All three of these organizations have a shared goal of giving a better Christmas season to as many people as possible.

Last year, the Times Colonist distributed more than $308,000. We aim to beat that total this year.

Sixty-three years ago, the Daily Colonist made a commitment, with what was then called the 500 Fund, to help the 500 neediest families in the area. Over time, the community’s needs multiplied, so we expanded the fund to offer help to more people. It became known as the Thousand Fund, and then the Christmas Fund.

Remember that the holiday season is not just about what we can get; what matters so much more is what we can give.

The Christmas Fund is all about the compassion of the season. Your donation does not need to be big, because every little bit helps. You can make a difference in the lives of others.

Over the next month, I will be available to speak to community groups about the fund, its history and its work today. If your group would like to hear my presentation, please send an email (dobee@timescolonist.com) with possible dates and times.

Thanks again to everyone for your generosity. Some of our neighbours need a helping hand. Let’s ensure that they get it.

HOW TO DONATE

• Go to 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, payable to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund Society, to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund, 2621 Douglas St., Victoria V8T 4M2.

• Use your credit card by phoning 250-995-4438 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Outside those hours, leave a message, we’ll call back.

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