Editorial: Christmas shines light on how many in Cowichan are in need

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

This quotation from Dickens’s classic A Tale of Two Cities comes to mind this time of year, as we plunge into the season of giving.

First, the best. The Cowichan Valley is a very giving place, filled with compassionate and generous people, many of whom don’t have a lot themselves. Yet at Christmas they still find a way to fill the holiday wishes of those who have so little that there would be no holiday without the incredible Valley charities and organizations that step to the fore in December to make sure there’s at least a little something under the tree for everyone, and a holiday meal on the table.

From the Valley’s food banks to the Salvation Army, Cowichan Lake Community Services and Cowichan Neighbourhood House, those is need have plenty of places to turn, whether they require a Christmas turkey or some gifts for the children.

It’s amazing and heartwarming how people in this Valley always step up for their neighbours, businesses pitch in with bikes or adopt families, providing food and gifts, and some even offer their talents on stage to help fill the shelves of the local food bank.

But, second, there is also the worst. The worst is that all of this generosity seems to be needed more and more each year.

This time of year is a stark reminder of how many people in the Cowichan Valley are living so close to, or under the poverty line, unable to afford an expense like Christmas. And while the outpouring of help this time of year is welcome, one has to ponder what these folks do the rest of the year, as other occasions come and go, or they are struck by emergencies that carve out unaffordable portions of their meagre income.

How many are we talking about? Hundreds upon hundreds. Cowichan Neighbourhood House alone, on their Facebook page, reported on Dec. 12 that they had 400 people on their Adopt-a-Family list. It’s overwhelming.

So while our largesse in December is wonderful, we need to dig a little deeper and address the roots of this stark need in our community, coming up with a solution that will last 365 days of the year.

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley U18 Silver boys’ team’s historic run ends in semis

The successful season that saw the Cowichan Valley U18 Silver boys win… Continue reading

Bronze medals for Duncan bowlers at CTF provincials

Briana Wright and Amber Kelly make the podium

Andrea Rondeau column: The fight over school dress codes: I wore short shorts, and showed my midriff

I often wanted to look older than my years, and more sophisticated.

Sarah Simpson Column: Pink plants and procrastination

I’ve been sitting at my desk for roughly 10 minutes now…procrastinating. I’ll… Continue reading

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Coming up in Cowichan: World Water Day

Shawnigan Lake marks World Water Day Got clean local water? “The ability… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Most Read