The kettle bells are ringing and non-perishable food is piling up in offices and businesses across the city.
The season of giving is in full swing and none too soon for many of the charities in Nanaimo, which rely on citizens’ charitable mood around Christmas to ensure they have the means to help the community’s less fortunate year-round.
Donations made in December to organizations like the Salvation Army and the Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank extend throughout out the year, providing many city residents with necessities in spring, summer and fall when donations tend to drop.
With a still-fragile economy and many residents out of work or under-employed, people are feeling the pinch more than ever at Christmas, but hopefully that doesn’t extend to charitable contributions.
People might just have to get creative this year – rather than give yet another Secret Santa item to gather dust on a shelf, donate money in the person’s name to their favourite charity.
Gather up your spare change and drop it in a Pennies for Presents container. Those small donations add up to big money for the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, the Salvation Army and the Nanaimo Boys and Girls Club – the three charities supported by the News Bulletin’s annual Pennies for Presents fundraising drive.
Or simply volunteer your time at a Sally Ann kettle, packing food at Hamperville or sorting gifts with the toy drive.
Giving your spare time won’t cost anything, but is incredibly valuable to the people you help.
Nanaimo’s proud history of charity is one Christmas tradition that should be practised for a long time to come.