We are all deserving of a little Christmas cheer

The trees have been trimmed and the lights are shining bright. Wreaths hang on doors and the smell of Christmas baking fills the air, along with a comfortable nostalgia for tradition and Christmas past.

The excitement of Christmas has the kids wriggling and wideeyed, and the adults have caught their thrilling anticipation. For most of us, at least. For some, it’s not at all clear yet whether there will be much of a Merry Christmas at all.

For the 44 families on the

Christmas hamper list at Cowichan Neighbourhood House in Chemainus who still have not been sponsored, there may not be anything to unwrap this holiday season.

This close to the big day, and some parents are having to prepare their kids that Santa might not visit them this year, even though that’s all their friends can talk about.

And don’t forget the adults, who struggle throughout the year, and just want a little something to brighten their Christmas.

A gift with an approximate value of $20 is not a lot to ask. But it’s out of reach for a staggering number of people in our Valley.

Last year Neighbourhood House gave out about 120 hampers, and the numbers are about the same this year. That’s a high level of need for such a small area.

And there are other organizations that hand out hampers as well, so that’s not even close to the Valley’s full tally of those who need help to have a Merry Christmas in 2014.

These are folks who walk by us and work beside us every day – you may even know some of them, though you likely don’t realize they are so close to poverty.

Many more are only one pay cheque or one lost job or one medical problem from it. Buying a few Christmas gifts or donating a little money for Neighbourhood House volunteers to buy gifts will not solve all of the recipients’ problems.

But what it does do is show them that someone cares. Especially at this time of year that’s important. It can be the boost they need for a happier New Year with a fresh start.

Perhaps next year they’ll be able to reach out and help someone else, the way they have been helped. A modest gift can be the light in the darkness.

And consider how happy you can make a child when they wake up on Christmas morning and their parents can give them a token of love. They can create a memory of magic and joy.

No child should have to be reminded on Christmas that they’re poor. They’re still deserving. We all are. Please donate.

Just Posted

Mariah Segee (centre) was named 2021 Lady of the Lake last Saturday, with Megan Rowbottom (left) as first princess, and Macey Anderson (right) as second princess. (Submitted)
Lady of the Lake returns to Lake Cowichan

Mariah Segee takes the crown in first pageant since 2018

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Bay man’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

Threads N Tails owner Lee-Ann Burke’s pet clothing has been featured on the cover of the June/July issue of Pet Connection Magazine. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan business featured on magazine cover

Lee-Ann Burke hopes the extra publicity will increase sales

North Cowichan’s senior environment specialist Dr. Dave Preikshot (pictured) said there’s a wide spectrum of views on carbon credits. (File photo)
Carbon credits expected to be part of discussions around forest reserve

North Cowichan acknowledges wide range of views on issue

Blue Moon Marquee from Duncan will be featured at the 2021 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival on June 28. (Submitted)
Blue Moon Marquee to play Vancouver Jazz Festival

What’s coming up in the A&E scene

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Most Read