COLUMN: Charity comes from the heart

It’s the season of giving, while recognizing and appreciating what and who we have in our lives

It’s the season of giving, while recognizing and appreciating what and who we have in our lives.

Most of us are fortunate. While we may not have everything, we do have enough.

Every community seems to have an ever upward spiralling need for help for its most vulnerable residents. The need is often greater than the ability to supply even the most basic necessities.

And it is getting worse.

During the holiday season there are so many charities seeking donations that many are not getting what they need to run their programs. Most people could probably name at least five charities or volunteer organizations that are looking for food donations, clothing, money or toys.

Every community has a food bank, which in itself is a travesty. This holiday season it would be amazing to see every food bank have enough to feed those who need extra help.

It’s not just during Christmas though, it’s a year-long need and the shelves are often pretty bare. These charitable organizations all function on a shoestring budget. They rely on volunteers, and in small places such as Sooke people give back to the community every single day.

All people need access to the basics, like food and shelter.

No one should be sleeping under a bridge or in the woods, or couch surfing, for that matter. And they shouldn’t have to feel like beggars if they’re forced to stand in a soup line.

If the various levels of government can pay staff and management huge salaries, there should be some way to raise basic income assistance to the needy. By needy I mean children, single parents, seniors and the disabled.

The gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening. Feelings of goodwill and generosity shouldn’t be limited to just those times when we feel a tinge of guilt for being so good to ourselves and our families.

While we are at it, remember to shop locally if possible. This supports those who live, work and pay taxes in our communities and the money they make stays there.

People in small towns know who their poor are. They interact with them on a daily basis. They see the disadvantaged collecting bottles and cans, which is actually a valuable public service.

They are working in their own way and have pride because they aren’t panhandling.

People in places with a sense of community look out for their neighbours and check on them if they haven’t been seen or heard from in a while.

These same people are often the ones who donate anonymously and generously.

They don’t look for the photo op with the giant cheque and they shy away from recognition. There are no administrative “costs” and all the money they give stays in their own community to aid those who live there.

These people are giving from the heart and often it is those who can least afford it who give the most. Because they know, without good fortune, that the person they are helping could be themselves.

There is no shame in being poor, but there can be shame in being rich.

“Let him who neglects to raise the fallen, fear lest, when he falls, no one will stretch out his hand to lift him up.”  – Saadi

Pirjo Raits is editor of the Sooke News Mirror.

editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Just Posted

Relative of man found dead in Saanich says he was missing for years

RCMP and a private detective had been searching for him since 2012

UPDATED: Oak Bay father takes stand, denies killing young daughters

Andrew Berry has plead not guilty to the December 2017 deaths of his two daughters

Man who killed Langford teen attended her memorial service, demonstrates little remorse

Parole Board of Canada documents reveal factors in parole decision

Oak Bay’s Food Forum closes after 37 years

Open on Christmas Day, the Estevan Village grocery had lovable quirks

Saanich Police warn of counterfeit money being used

Several fake $100 bills have been reported in Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Island manslaughter suspect found not guilty in Supreme Court

Court accepts accused’s argument of self-defence for 2017 incident in Courtenay

Most Read