’Tis the season of giving

Christmas is about hope. It doesn’t matter what one’s beliefs are — anyone can draw something positive, something special from the story of Christmas. It’s about believing that something good is going to happen.

Christmas is about hope.

It doesn’t matter what one’s beliefs are — anyone can draw something positive, something special from the story of Christmas. It’s about believing that something good is going to happen.

And all indications are, Central Alberta is fully engaged in that very idea.

As so many are drawn into the blizzard of Christmas activities, from church to concerts to shopping to entertaining, they are fortunate to have abundance, good health, loving families and friends. And they are asked, amidst that good fortune, to share a bit of it.

This time of year, there are many ways to do that.

The season brings with it the Festival of Trees, Charity Checkstops, Sally Ann kettles, hampers and Adopt-A-Family, food donations at events like the Westerner’s Christmas bazaar, Christmas Bureau gifts, toy donations to cover parking tickets, and more.

Each of these has a similar goal — to help those in need, whether they be sick, poor, alone or temporarily down on their luck.

Many people have had a helping hand that enabled them to move on to better things.

But it’s not always just about trying to move people forward. Sometimes it’s just about some very basic things — like seeing that people don’t go hungry because they had to spend more on heating during the winter, or seeing kids break into a big smile and the relief on a single parent’s face that her or his children will have some Christmas joy.

If that helping hand turns into a magical success story, great. But if not, then just giving unconditionally to help someone out is fine, too.

In fact, one could argue that the act of giving without receiving any recognition at all is true charity.

In this special time when faith, hope and charity are expressed, those who can are asked to give a tittle more. It’s not an obligation.

It’s an opportunity to remember that hard times can hit ­anyone — most of us are never completely immune from the poverty cliff. And we make our lives richer through showing compassion for others.

So when Central Albertans are called upon to give at this time of year, they tend to do so without hesitation.

The figures will continue to be tallied as December moves along.

But so far, we’ve seen things like the Red Deer charity Checkstop raise $23,000 (a healthy increase over last year), and $46,000 in cash donated via the Stuff A Bus campaign for the food bank. Hundreds of thousands will have been raised for the regional hospital foundation, via the Festival of Trees.

The Salvation Army, which distributes hampers to families, is seeing a steady number of applications, more than 120 so far. The Red Deer Food Bank fed 2,100 people, including children, last month.

There’s always a need, not just at Christmas. Fortunately, people always seem to respond accordingly.

Giving is a reflection of a caring community.

Good on you Central Alberta.

Mary-Ann Barr is the Advocate’s assistant city editor. She can be reached by email at barr@bprda.wpengine.com or by phone at 403-314-4332.

Just Posted

Ride to Conquer Cancer cancels but Red Deerian keeps going

Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was cancelled due to smoke

Red Deer woman saving animals at wildlife centre with TV show

Victoria Bolhuis, 22, interned at Hope for Wildlife for 10 weeks before moving into paid position

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month