EDITORIAL: Giving year-round

Underlying concept of holidays rooted in neighbourly actions

As we hit the final stretch of Christmas preparations, it’s well that we slow the pace for a while and give some thought to neighbours who may be less fortunate than ourselves.

Homelessness and poverty may seem to be invisible problems to some, however every volunteer and social service agency in Hope can tell you they are nonetheless real.

There are vulnerable people in our community—people on fixed incomes such as disability and old-age pensions, those eking out a bare living from low-paying jobs, those who must rely on the kindness of family and friends to keep a roof over their heads.

As they get squeezed by rising rents (the spectre of renoviction is more than a Dickensian Christmas ghost, alas) and punishing food and medication costs, making ends meet is well-nigh impossible, while homelessness looms as a very real possibility.

When temperatures hit zero, or continuing wind chill or inclement weather poses a genuine health risk, a shelter does offer solace for some—whether they are actually homeless or living in low-rent accommodation with insufficient heat.

Those tasked with providing support know that it can only be a stop-gap solution at best—the grim cycle of poverty and homelessness doesn’t end when the season passes and temperatures rise.

If we’re tempted to say these misfortunes are not our problems, we should pause and reflect on the meaning for all the celebrations we have at this time of year. Our tradition of giving Christmas gifts, after all, is based on a notion of honouring gifts that we ourselves have received.

Whether we do this as a tenet of religion, or out of whatever our belief system may be, we must acknowledge that the underlying concept of the holiday is rooted in being a good neighbour.

Let thought for the less fortunate be part of our wishes and actions this Christmas and in the new year ahead.

Just Posted

Fundraiser for teenager hit by car in Rosedale

Teen suffering multiple fractures and blood clots following incident on Yale Road

Hope’s Uptown Mall sees two new businesses open shop

Spa 6 Tanning & Wellness opened in December 2018, Hanky’s Restaurant opened on March 8

Vedder River cleanup nets bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Chilliwack International Spring Film Series returns to Cottonwood 4 Cinemas

Put a spring in your step with the Chilliwack International Spring Film Series’ feature titles

UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

VIDEO: 13-year-old killed in B.C. crash that involved five kids

The children range in age from six to 17.

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Vancouver Island home to B.C.’s luckiest lotto store

Five million-dollar winners have bought tickets from same Port Alberni corner store

Most Read