Mason McClement guest columnist
Christmas time, to most, is a season of joy and celebration.
Festive lights hang looped around the branches of trees, rosy-cheeked smiles greet you gregariously around every corner, and everything at Starbucks tastes of sweet peppermint. Fireplaces burn, chestnuts roast upon them, and lines of charming and elaborately decorated confectioneries grace the displays at every bakery.
The holidays have always been a time for families who choose to celebrate to get together, break bread, and present gifts to each other in the generous spirit of Saint Nicholas. But what about the individuals who simply cannot indulge in such luxuries?
For the past 10 years, the District Student Advisory Council Community Backpack Project has been looking out for these people. This project, founded by DSAC students, as an initiative to assist disadvantaged residents within the community, aims to supply essential items to those who need it most this holiday season.
Volunteers fill backpacks donated by local businesses with hats, gloves, coats, scarves, and assorted hygiene products that will then be distributed to those in need. Those who wish to contribute donations may do so at all schools within the Cowichan Valley as well as through the School District 79 office. The last chance to submit donations is Dec. 5.
The backpack project helps to bring together communities through generosity and kindness during the winter holiday, truly capturing the spirit of Christmas: giving back to those around you. The project is currently being overseen by Pierce Jones, the DSAC council chairman.
He offered a statement summarizing his stance earlier this month: “This is an amazing project, and it feels so good to see those backpacks bobbing through the halls at school,” Jones said.
“You know that those bags made such a difference during the Christmas holidays.”
Jones also stated that he would like to see more school districts across Vancouver Island choose to participate in the DSAC Community Backpack Project in the near future.
Whether you choose to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Ramadan, we all deserve a winter holiday full of mirth and comfort.