EDITORIAL: Christmas spirit comes alive

Shelves at the Upper Room Mission are bare and the Realtors food Drive supports the food banks

North Okanagan residents are known for their generosity and compassion and there’s no better time to get involved than leading up to Christmas.

Currently, the shelves at Vernon’s Upper Room Mission are bare and the Realtors food Drive Wednesday supports the food banks in Greater Vernon, Armstrong and Enderby.

While many of us are focused on purchasing that perfect gift for Christmas, North Okanagan non-profit operations are under a lot of pressure.

The start of the recession in 2008 led many residents to seek assistance for the first time, and  conditions haven’t improved yet for many. In fact, some residents face the tough choice of paying the rent or buying groceries.

It’s expected the Vernon food bank will hand out about 800 hampers this Christmas, while the Upper Room Mission serves about 300 meals a day.

The magnitude of the situation may appear overwhelming at times, but local residents constantly demonstrate their willingness to lend a hand.

And North Okanagan realtors and supporters make it easy to give. Just be prepared with a bag or two of food donations and leave it on your front step for collection Wednesday. If canvassers don’t show up, call your local real estate office Thursday for pick-up. All food will help neighbours in Vernon, Armstrong and Enderby.

In terms of the Upper Room Mission, the staff and volunteers there will gratefully accept any non-perishable food items or monetary donations provided by the public.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year and it reminds all of us of how we can make a difference in the lives of others.

Make sure you embrace the spirit and do your part. You will feel better for it.

 

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