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Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:57

Give generously

Written by  Rose Sanchez
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This time of year is one of our favourites. It’s hard not to be in the Christmas spirit when one sees the colourful lights and trays full of goodies spread out to enjoy. There’s a mad dash being made in the shopping centres as individuals try to get their last-minute items and ensure they are prepped for the big day.

We hope in the rush of the season, everyone takes a little time to quietly reflect about the true meaning of Christmas. The virgin birth of a baby in a manger — a saviour to come and heal a hurting world.
Christmas isn’t viewed as a season of love or wonderful for all families. There are people who struggle to be able to put food on their tables and while not the reason for the season — gifts under a tree. There are people who are alone and don’t have a family, for numerous reasons — too many to list.
Generous souls at various agencies help, especially at this time of year, to try to make Christmas more meaningful and magical for those less fortunate.
Take the Salvation Army. It does wonderful work in southwest Saskatchewan and southeast Alberta, and especially in Swift Current and has been doing so for almost a century.
The Christmas campaign was kicked off in Swift Current at the end of November. There’s a familiar ringing of the bells as volunteers work the kettles seeking donations. Those donations are so important as they are the main revenue generator for the Salvation Army. It’s how the organization pays for programming to help the needy, not just at Christmas, but year-round.
This year, the Swift Current Salvation Army has a simple goal to raise $10 per person. What’s $10? Who can’t afford to give $20, $50 or even $100 to make up for those people who truly can’t find their share? So little given by a few adds up quickly. The goal is to raise at least $170,000.
“That’s really the baseline because that’s what we need to continue to support families in need in our community until next year, when we’re collecting money again,” Capt. Michael Ramsay told the Prairie Post. “This really is the time of the year when we collect the funds that go towards helping everyone in need in our community throughout the year as well as at Christmas time.”
The money raised is put to good use. Last year more than 200 families were given Christmas hampers and about 200 people enjoyed a meal on Christmas day. The organization helps year round including operating the food bank, thrift store and church, community kitchens, support for parents, children and youth as well as chaplaincy work for various agencies.
So this year, as you finish your own Christmas preparations, take that extra time to give a little bit back to the community in which you reside. Dig a little deeper to find that extra money to help a family in need. You won’t regret you did. As Ramsay told our reporter: “This is the time of greatest need in the community, so every little bit that somebody is able to help will go a long way.”
Rose Sanchez is assistant managing editor of the Prairie Post. Contact her with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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