Merry Christmas to everyone! The spirit of the season is alive and well on Vancouver Island, and your generosity means Christmas will be a little bit warmer and brighter for your neighbours.
The annual Times Colonist Christmas Fund campaign is getting close to its goal of $1 million — which is the amount that we have already handed out, on your behalf, in our efforts to help those in need.
On Saturday, the fund total reached $885,712.02, and traditionally, another $100,000 or more arrives between Christmas Eve and the second week of January, when we close the campaign for another year.
It’s great to know we will make our goal — but what if we surpass it? Rest assured, we will put that money to work as soon as we can.
That $1 million that we gave went to about 60 organizations in Greater Victoria, as far north as Campbell River, and on the Gulf Islands. We could not give all of them what they needed, and we had nothing left to support other worthwhile efforts that would have loved to support.
The more money we raise, the more help we can give.
In this season of giving, it’s good to know that the Times Colonist fund continues to resonate with the community, as it has for almost seven decades.
The amount donated by Dec. 23 this year is well ahead of the totals for the same day in 2022 and 2021. It is second only to the $1,003,000 donated by Dec. 23 in 2020, the pandemic year.
The money goes to some of the things that many of us take for granted: Food. Toys. Hope,
One-third of the $1 million was distributed by the local chapter of the Sovereign Order of St. John, which works with us to identify the most efficient ways to invest your money in the community.
You work hard for the money that you donate, so we owe it to you to be as thrifty as we can be.
As we have said before, the Times Colonist covers most of the costs of running the fund.
That means that we can get the maximum impact from your donations.
We have passed the darkest time of the year. Now, as the days get longer and everything seems a bit brighter, we should remember those who could use a helping hand.
As a wise person urged me many years ago: “When you see a stranger who needs help, you help.” Those are words to live by at every time of the year, but especially at Christmas.
You can donate to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund by going to tcchristmasfund.com.
That page is linked to CanadaHelps, which is open 24 hours a day, even on Christmas Day, and provides an immediate tax receipt.
You could also use your credit card by phoning 250-995-4438 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday or Friday next week.
Or mail a cheque to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund, 201-655 Tyee Road, Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5.
Merry Christmas. Thank you for making Christmas feel just a little bit warmer for so many people.