‘Tis the Season to Lend a Helping Hand
For many, Christmas lends thoughts of joyful music, twinkling lights, merry children, sleigh bells and harried parents running from store to store in search of the perfect gift. In all of the excitement and hustle and bustle of the season it is easy to forget that there are numerous people in our region who do not, and will not, have the same jubilant experience. Even though this is a region full of opportunity and abundance there are many who struggle daily to put food on the table, let alone put a gift under the tree for a child or family member.
Christmas is known as the season of giving. It takes nearly no effort at all to drop off a gift for a child at one of the Santa’s Chimney locations throughout our city (the mall and Costco are two locations). Even better, if you have children of your own, involve them in choosing a gift and dropping it off. Compassion and empathy are traits that are not seen enough. Another option in contributing a gift or monetary donation is to contact a local organization and “adopting a family”. These organizations are in contact with people in need within our community. Your donation can be anonymous if you choose. Organizations to contact include The Odyssey House, Faith In Deed (run through the Alliance Church), Rising Above, and Sunrise House just to name a few. The Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau website (www.gpvsb.com) also has a list of organizations that would love a helping hand.
Speaking of the GP Volunteer Services Bureau (GPVSB), if you are unable to purchase a gift or offer a monetary donation, how about a small donation of your time? Even an hour would be greatly appreciated. The GPVSB works collaboratively with individuals, non-profit groups, educational institutions, workplace volunteer programs and the Alternative Measures program to develop a vibrant and growing community that cares. With their vast knowledge of our community needs they would easily be able to match you up with an organization. There truly is no better gift than giving.
Do not forget the small gestures either. Opening a door for a stranger who has their hands full of parcels, shovelling a driveway for an elderly neighbour, offering to babysit a friends children so she can go out and complete her holiday errands. All of these are meaningful and offer the spirit of the season to those around you.
Let’s make this Christmas season as joyous as we can. Who knows, maybe the spirit will catch on and carry out through the New Year?!