It’s easy to get cynical around Christmas time. We lament the rabid commercialism and insatiable consumerism. We think of the less fortunate, and wonder why more isn’t being done.
But in Chilliwack, it’s important to take a moment and look around at what is being done.
Every year a remarkable number of individuals and businesses step forward to spread a little Christmas cheer. They donate their time, their money, their energy and enthusiasm to help others share in the holiday spirit.
Chilliwack Community Services, the Salvation Army and so many more come together in a inspired effort that last year helped nearly 800 people – many of them children.
School groups, seniors centres and anonymous individuals pitch in to help, either by partnering with other groups or acting on their own. Businesses launch their own initiatives, or quietly use their leverage to give back to their community.
True, more can always be done. The need doesn’t end with the season.
But as Charles Dickens said, “…it is at Christmas time that want is most keenly felt.”
Helping ease that want is a noble thing. Most do it regardless of any recognition they might receive. (In fact, many would rather have none.)
However, laying a shoulder to the stubborn reality of poverty deserves the community’s thanks. When we work together, that effort becomes a little easier.
We see that throughout the year, whether through centres like Ruth and Naomi’s, the new health and housing contact centre, or the daily efforts by so many volunteers.
On the eve of Christmas let’s look past the critics who say the season has lost its meaning. There are too many people who give so much of themselves to help others.
Their’s is a gift we all enjoy.