It’s the time of the year when we focus more on the kindness of strangers and organizations who want to see to it that Christmas is merry for the less fortunate among us.
And it is natural, at least in the newspaper business, to highlight all the things so many others do this time of year.
We have campaigns to get warm coats for those who need them. Some campaigns to get toys for children who might not otherwise have a merry Christmas. We see organizations making sure Christmas dinners are available for those who need them.
The list of those who willingly help at Christmas is, thankfully, a long one.
But while we focus our attention on this time of year we should not lose track of the fact that many of the people who need help at Christmas also need help throughout the rest of the year.
That’s the sad reality of life for far too many people.
Yes, people in our relatively small community are in need 12 months of the year. One need only stroll the streets on garbage pick-up days and see the numerous people going through garbage bags collecting bottles and cans, which they bring to the recycling depot for money. Children who at this time of the year have visions of Santa Claus carrying a bag of presents on his back for the most part don’t see the people who fish through roadside garbage bags for bottles and cans, slinging those bags of bottles and cans over their shoulders. Every nickel they get helps.
And seeing what we see these days as people augment whatever meager income they have by gathering bottles and cans is not something we saw even just a few years back.
This is but one indication of how needy so many people are in our community.
The food bank numbers are forever increasing as families head there every week to make sure they have enough to eat. While, come Christmas, their dinners are made more like the traditional Christmas dinner we see on warm and wonderful Christmas shows, most weeks they make do with far less to eat.
There are a lot of Santas in this community. People who help others at the food bank and at the various other places that offer assistance to those who need it.
And so yes, we shine the spotlight on them this time of year because this is when everyone wishes others, family, friends and strangers alike, a very merry Christmas.
However we also should never lose track of the fact that the work these “Santas” do this time of year is work they also do the rest of the year.
If we can all share a Christmas wish let it be that the day comes when there are no fellow citizens out there who need their services and the only people wanting discarded bottles and cans are the organizations who used to hold bottle drives to bolster their endeavours.
Let’s make that our Christmas wish.