As winter closes in on the Shuswap, many of us find ourselves gearing up for Christmas — decorating our homes, shopping for gifts and bringing our kids to visit Santa Claus. In the midst of our busy lives, however, it is important to remember those in our communities who are in need.
Every year since 1999, the CP Holiday Train has taken to the rails in support of local food banks, raising awareness of hunger across North America and drawing donations for charities and food banks in all the communities they visit.
The Holiday Train stops in more than 150 communities every year, delivering residents a stunning light show and great free concerts featuring well-known performers. In exchange, it collects voluntary donations for local charities. Over the past 17 years, the Holiday Train has raised more than $12 million and collected 3.9 million pounds of food for our communities.
On Wednesday, our Holiday Train will stop in Sicamous (5:30 p.m.), Canoe (7 p.m.) and Salmon Arm (7:45 p.m.) before ending the day at Notch Hill (9:20 p.m.). As in years past, it will be my privilege to board the train when it enters our constituency and ride it to Notch Hill, welcoming fellow passengers on the way.
I encourage all of you to come out and see the Holiday Train, and to spread the Christmas spirit by bringing donations, whether in cash or non-perishable food items.
Just as we should be opening our hearts to our neighbours by giving generously, we should also be looking out for them on the roads. Winter weather can make driving conditions unpredictable and treacherous. Now more than ever, we must be extra careful while behind the wheel, so we can all make it safely home to our loved ones at the end of the day.
Because, at the end of the day, Christmas is one of the best times of the year to spend with family and loved ones. This year, I know many of us will be fortunate enough to celebrate the season surrounded by those we love. But let’s also remember to share our Christmas joy with those in our communities who may not have people with whom to celebrate the holidays. Simple acts of kindness — visiting a local seniors’ home, or offering to pick up groceries or shovel the walk for an elderly neighbour — can go a long way toward brightening someone’s experience of Christmas.
For those of you who already contribute so much to our communities, our local volunteers and kind-hearted neighbours, I want to thank you for all you do. And I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact my constituency office at 250-833-7414. However, please note that we will be out of the office from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2.
For more information on the Holiday Train, visit http://www.cpr.ca/holiday-train/canada