Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Charitable/Volunteer Work - Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories

December 12 - Charitable/Volunteer Work

Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women’s shelter during the holidays? Were you able to make the holidays special for someone less fortunate?

Here’s a hard one – the short answer is ‘maybe’ or ‘I hope so’. We always put some money in the Salvation Army kettles, mind you, and my parents donated money to ‘worthy causes’ (probably around Christmas because it’s the end of the tax year -they were both thrifty and organized) and at church I know we collected food, clothes, etc. for ‘the poor’ or for missions in other countries, but that was year round, (more especially at Easter and Thanksgiving). I don’t remember a special emphasis on Christmas donations in our family until much later. The local newspapers always appealed for money around Christmas and I do know my parents supported the CKNW radio station’s year round Orphans’ Fund which has a pledge day early in December.

Now here there are Christmas food and toy bank committees at work places, as well as many other appeals around Christmas time. Christmas is a time of year when many people do think of ‘giving’. It’s really the rest of the year when help is needed more now, I think. The Food Bank here promotes mid year giving with ‘Christmas in July’, and some businesses, like SPUD (Small Potatoes Urban Delivery) where I get groceries make it easy to support charities all year, in SPUD’s case, Quest Food Exchange.

After all, didn’t Charles Dickens say it best: "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."


CKNW Orphans’ Fund, helping children year round since 1945:

Greater Vancouver Food Bank:

Quest Outreach Society:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens:

And, for more posts on this theme, go to the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, December 12:

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