Calgary singer Tom Jackson has raised millions through the Huron Carole, his annual charity concert tour in support of family service agencies, and local and national food banks. He’ll add to that total tonight when the Huron Carole stops at Glad Tidings Church for a fundraising performance at 7 p.m.
Jackson never tires of helping those in need, having been homeless himself at one point many years ago. He has led the Huron Carole on tours across Canada each Christmas season since 1987, and vows to continue as long as his services are needed.
“There is a constant need for us to support those who support those who are in need,” he said. “Because we live in a time where changing elements create voids, people sometimes get lost.”
Jackson will be joined on stage for tonight’s concert by Vancouver musicians Tom McKillip, Darryl Havers, John MacArthur Ellis, Kirby Barber and Chris Nordquist.
The performance of contemporary and classic Christmas music will benefit the Mustard Seed Street Church, which also receives support from the Times Colonist Christmas Fund.
Last year, the Times Colonist distributed more than $308,000 through the Mustard Seed, the Salvation Army and Our Place.
“Forty per cent of those who use food banks are children,” said Jackson, whose association with the street church dates back more than 10 years.
“That fuels this fire. I would be doing this regardless, but there’s all that much more reason if we’re committed to making sure we protect our future. I see a lot of people being serviced by these agencies I hope to help. It touches everybody.”
The Huron Carole — one of several philanthropic pursuits he has put his name to — earned Jackson the title of Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000. The Juno Award winner and former North of 60 star has raised more than $200 million in monetary and in-kind value for those in need through the charity, in addition to hundreds of millions of pounds of perishable food donations.
“The reward for me is doing the kind of work I do, talking about a lot of things people already know but have sometimes forgotten,” Jackson said. “That’s the spirit of Christmas.”
Donate to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund
The Times Colonist Christmas Fund assists individuals and families in need during the Christmas season.
Here are ways 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.