Remember those in need at Christmas

With all of the talk about what we can’t do this year as Christmas approaches, it’s important for us to remember those things that we can do.

One of those things that we can do at Christmas is be generous with the numerous causes in the region. 

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The organizations helping others likely need our support more than ever.

The Community Hamper Association is one of those organizations that has seen demand grow. They’re expecting to fill a record number of hampers this year. And due to COVID-19, their delivery model has changed.

All of the hamper requests need to be filed by Dec. 5. Hampers have to be picked up this year; they can’t be delivered. And the hamper association can’t take donations of food, although monetary donations will be appreciated.

If the hamper association is going to have record demand this year, then you can bet that its Angel Tree program, which provides toys for children of hamper recipients, will also have more requests than ever this year.

And it’s also a safe bet that the Estevan Kinette Club’s PJ Project will also have a record number of requests this year, since they distribute pyjamas for children of hamper recipients.

The Estevan Salvation Army is also going to have a busy month. While their goal is lower than it’s been in previous years, that doesn’t mean the demand is lower.

The Salvation Army has done a pretty good job of keeping up with the demand in the community over the past eight months. People have been generous with donations of cash and food to the food bank. It’s allowed the Salvation Army to keep the shelves relatively well-stocked, and to purchase food to replenish the shelves when they are depleted.

It hasn’t been easy. More people have been turning to the Salvation Army to help. They’ve assisted a lot of first-time clients. And they’ve come through it well.

But they have always relied on events before Christmas. Most of us have likely been to an event at Christmas time in which the admission is a donation of a non-perishable food item to the Salvation Army’s food bank. Most of those functions aren’t happening this year. The CP Rail Holiday Train is an important event for the Salvation Army, but that won’t be happening.

We’re willing to support the Salvation Army because we know they do great work in the community. But this year, it might require just that little extra effort to help.

For those in rural communities, there are food banks and emergency funds that also need our support this year.

The St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation had to completely rethink its Festival of Trees fundraiser, shifting it from the one-weekend celebration to a series of at-home fundraisers to support healthcare in the community. Most of their activities are ongoing.

The Estevan Kinsmen Club has its annual Christmas tree lot, with a variety of trees available to support the club’s efforts in the community.

There’s no shortage of causes worthy of our support at this time of year, or any other time of the year, either. It’s just that at Christmas, the needs are in the spotlight more than before.

We understand that the pandemic took a financial toll on so many, so they don’t have as much money to give.

But for those who can, you have plenty of options.

Perhaps the biggest challenge will be interacting with our seniors. For many of them, they might not be getting face-to-face visits, or they might not be able to go to the Christmas dinner of a loved one.

It’s great that we’ve looked for ways to show them we love them or are thinking of them, but nothing replaces that face-to-face interaction.

Kudos to those looking out for them.

We’ve never had to worry about the generosity of the people of this region. We’re renowned for it. We always find a way to help those in need.

It’s shown in the support we’ve seen for fundraisers this fall.

And now we need to be there once again.

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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