Dave Obee: Why I’m giving to the Christmas Fund — it’s personal

christmas fundDave Obee is editor and publisher of the Times Colonist 

Today’s list of donations to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund includes a small amount from me. The fund is run by a society that is registered as a charitable organization with the Canada Revenue Agency. I help to manage the society. I have written about the fund for years, and I have spoken about it in presentations to a variety of community groups.

I am proud of the work that we do, and I am grateful to our partners — the Salvation Army, Our Place and the Mustard Seed Street Church — for being beside us in helping those in need.

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But those are not reasons why I gave money this year, and have given money in the past. My reasons to donate are much more personal than that.

I give money because I have friends and acquaintances who are living close to the poverty line, and need a hand. I am happy to help them, and I am happy to help people I do not know.

I give money because I have close relatives who, through no fault of their own, need to rely on assistance from others, including me.

I give money because of the joy it can bring to the recipients. The Christmas dinner that the Mustard Street arranges every year at the armoury is a quick reminder that it doesn’t take much money to put a smile on someone’s face. Our Christmas Fund covers the hard cost of that dinner, and a small army of volunteers makes it happen.

I give money because this year, I can afford to. Those dollars will mean more to someone else than they do to me.

I give money because years ago, I could not afford to, and I vowed that when I could, I would pass on the help that others gave to me when I needed it.

I give money because all of us — yes, all of us — could be just days or weeks away from an unforeseen financial crisis.

For me, the Christmas Fund is not just another event in the calendar, and not just another task we deal with every year. It is a reflection of our entire community, and a reflection of ourselves. In a small way, it is a reflection of me.

The Times Colonist Christmas Fund is almost as old as I am. It was started in 1956, and it has followed a simple formula for all of these years: We ask our readers to donate money to help the less fortunate.

We all have reasons why we should donate. Not everyone can afford to give, and not everyone wants to give. That’s OK, too; I won’t try to twist anyone’s arm.

Please remember, though, that the holiday season is not just about what we can get; what matters is what we can do for others. Your donation does not need to be big, because every little bit helps. I can make a difference, and so can you.

We have raised and distributed millions of dollars over the years, and the success of the annual campaign is a direct result of your generosity. Last year, the Times Colonist distributed more than $308,000.

With your help, we can beat that total this year.


• 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.


Previous 2019 donations $194,492

Anonymous donations, 150 donors 11,490

Peter Locke 500

A blessed and joyous holiday season to all my family and friends from Doreen McManaman 100

Abby, Nolan and Atlas 100

Adam, Jenn and Mom 250

Alanna 50

Alex and Marianne Bodnar 100

All the best in 2020! 250

Ann McDonald 30

Anne and Geoff Varley 100

Anthony Bute 100

Barbara Szpradowski 25

Barbara Tryfos 100

Beryl McLean 25

Best wishes from Jean and Lesley 50

Beverley Penner 100

Blessings, Macca/S 100

Bob and Ginny Alger 500

Brian Clark 100

Bruce Kallio 230

Bruce Wood 100

C. Ann Brydon 200

Candis Laas 50

Caroline Barron 50

Carolyn Reid 50

Christmas Blessings 200

Cynthia Lodge 100

D.R.C. 50

Daphne McCannell 100

Dave Obee 1,000

David Fissel 75

Deborah Carnes 500

Deidre Hill 20

Deirdre Vincent 25

Disa Hovatta 50

Don and Nancy 100

Donation in appreciation of the

wonderful TUBA CHRISTMAS concert! 25

Dorothy Brimacombe 100

Dr. Ian Hadfield 100

Eric Ballinger 100

Erica Patrick 100

For Alex 300

For my Dad, Stan,

who loved Christmas. 100

For my Grandchildren 300

For Terry 50

Fourth $500 Challenge from Andrew Beckerman 500

From Leadership Victoria 200

From my heart to yours 200

From the Gillis Family 200

From the Parry Family 800

From Todd, Scott and Kelly 300

Galina Alpatoff 50

Gordon & Linda Jones 300

Grayson Laite 50

Happy Holidays from Santa’s Saxes — George, Don, John, Jim, Don and Kryn 420

Happy Holidays from the Ludwig/Pavlis family 50

I.M.O. Mom and Dad 100

In honor of Remy, Miles and Morgan. Merry Christmas 300

In honour of Linda Travers 100

In honour of Zen Leveille 200

In loving memory of Jim and Stan Douglas 100

In loving memory of Maureen 500

In loving memory of my husband Butch Morningstar 250

In loving memory of our Gogie 100

In Loving Memory of Patricia Chester 50

In memory of Alfred George Gibson 100

In memory of Athena Strutt 300

In memory of Barry Campbell 100

In memory of Bill, Margie, Jack, Marge and Gord 100

In memory of Dad, Leigh and Leslie 100

In memory of Dave Rutherford 200

In memory of Doreen and Vera 150

In memory of Edna 50

In memory of Eileen and Dean Atkinson 100

In memory of Florence Ferguson 100

In memory of GAR DIXON 100

In memory of J.C. Barber 500

In memory of Jenn Hanson 100

In memory of Jim 200

In memory of Jim Coffin 100

In memory of John Moore 50

In memory of Ken Greer, founder of The Feast 200

In memory of Laura Schellenberg 100

In memory of Lawrence, Marjory and Kenneth Houghton 100

In memory of loved ones 200

In memory of Lucy 100

In memory of Lynn 50

In memory of Madeline 1,000

In memory of Margaret Courtnall 100

In memory of Merry Connor 100

In memory of Mom, Marie and John 200

In memory of my mom, Barb McCall, who loved Christmas. 100

In memory of Nana Evelyn Wallis 25

In memory of our Mom 100

In memory of our Mom Isobel Petts 50

In memory of our parents — Alan and Susan 100

In memory of our parents Evelyn, Fred and Charlie 500

In memory of Peter Dawson 100

In memory of Philip Russell 100

In memory of Robin and Bennie 250

In memory of Ross Webb 50

In memory of Seth Halton, "500 Fund” founder 100

In memory of Stan. Wanting to help those in need. 200

In memory of Val from Cathie 40

In memory of Victor and Garry Gill 100

In memory of Wesley 100

Irene Riley 50

Irm Houle 500

J. Gray 100

J.C. Hall 100

J.M.D. 200

James Gardner 100

James Stilburn 300

Janis and Richard Jarvin 100

Jason Peter Headecker 100

Jeri Gates 250

Jo Campbell 10,000

John Close 200

Joyce Elliott 100

Judith Murai 100

Ken & Valerie 100

Kevan King 500

Kim Bartlett 50

Lois 50

Loris Yazedjian 100

Lorna Rennie 20

Louise and Don Froggett 200

M. Nevile 100

Margaret Chudyk 50

Margaret Newton 200

Mary 75

Mary Gardner 50

Mary Stonnell 100

Maureen Murray 200

Maureen Songhurst 100

Meghan Selbee 100

Memory of 25 12 59 500

Merry Christmas Andrew & Nola Jackson 300

Merry Christmas from Greg and Patti 50

Merry Christmas from B & D 230

Merry Christmas from Helen Louden 50

Merry Christmas from Kris and Doug 1,000

Merry Christmas from Mark and Pauline 75

Merry Christmas from the Dawson family 200

Merry Christmas from the Henley family 50

Merry Christmas M and B Bay 50

Merry Christmas to All! 200

Merry Christmas to all, John and Simone Wrafter 100

Merry Christmas! 75

Michael Abe 500

Mike and Gayle Maxwell 40

Milton and Helen Gill 50

Miracle on Elsey Lane 250

Morley Bryant 150

Mrs Barb Zielinski 20

Mrs Chris A Gain 50

Norm Shaw 100

Norma Mickelson 25

Pamela Baillie 50

Patricia Farago 250

Paul Schoemaker 500

Peace, Love, Kindness to All 100

Ray Fischer 100

Remembering John, Elizabeth and Iain Forbes 150

Richard Boisvert 30

Ricky Ladyshewsky 100

Robert Britton 50.50

Robert Wilson 200

Samantha Patrick 100

Shannon Sanderson 100

Shirley Metters 200

Steve & Frances Dove 100

Stevenson’s Shoe Clinic 100

Susan Olson 100

Sylvia McKinlay 50

Thank you for helping at such a needy time of year. 200

Thank you for helping our community 50

Thanks for your great work all year long! Michael and Barbara Gergel 50

Thanks Jack Knox 107

The Street’s 200

To brighten the day. 100

Urmas and Lynne Anniko 200

Victoria Chinese Ladies Club 500

Virginia Thalheimer 100

W.W. Propp 400

Warren Penner 100

Wayne and Ellen 250

Wayne Sennett 100

Wishing Peace and Happiness to all, from Barbara and Andre 100

Total $246,819.50

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