It’s hard to imagine what shape Nanaimo’s less fortunate would be in if not for the efforts of charitable organizations and the generosity of residents and businesses.
That’s not to say their worries are over, but at least most are going to have some food on the table over the holidays and one or two presents under the Christmas tree.
And that’s because Nanaimo has lived up to its proud history of giving, even when economic times are proving tough for many.
Hamperville accepted more than 45,000 kilograms of donated food in support of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank and the Salvation Army’s food programs.
That’s down from last year’s record donation, but no one is going to be denied a hamper of groceries.
The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive experienced the generosity of the public as well, with donations of toys and cash up from last year, and the News Bulletin’s Pennies for Presents campaign saw a significant jump from a year ago, raising close to $5,000 so far for the toy drive, Salvation Army and Nanaimo Boys and Girls Club.
Some charities got a little creative to capture the attention and giving spirit of people. Instead of the regular ringing of the bells, some Salvation Army kettle donation stands had volunteers singing Christmas carols or belting out a tune on a saxophone.
Whatever it takes, it’s worth it.
Because if someone isn’t dropping some spare change into a kettle or picking up a few extra groceries to donate to a hamper campaign, those in need will go without.
Thankfully, the desire to give whatever we can and pull together to help one another allows charities to fulfill their roles to the best of their abilities.
It’s a partnership that most wish wasn’t needed, but one that works.