Opinion

Stewart: Sharing our own good fortune with others at Christmas

I can’t believe the Christmas holidays are here.

Christmas is a time to enjoy the company of your loved ones.

It’s also a time for good deeds and to help others however you can.

Whether it’s holding a door open for someone when their hands are full at the mall during the busy Christmas shopping season, or volunteering to help those in need, I truly believe this is what Christmas is all about.

Last week, MLA Steve Thomson and I had the opportunity to pitch in with many residents of the Kelowna area to prepare Christmas hampers for the Kelowna Community Food Bank. It was a lot of fun!

While volunteering, we had the opportunity to meet many of the Central Okanagan’s most caring and selfless individuals, many of whom embrace the Christmas spirit all year round by helping out at the food bank.

We worked hard and accomplished a lot. In three hours, we assisted over 300 families in taking home some much needed Christmas items like turkey, veggies, fruits, milk and eggs.

A key aspect of a healthy community is proper nutrition, so I’m sure this made quite a difference.

The food bank also provided deserving kids with wonderful Christmas gifts.

Just as importantly, I’m confident this helped make some special Christmas memories for many families in the community.

To put into context the important role the food bank plays in the Central Okanagan, here’s what they’ve done for us over their history.

The food bank started in 1983, serving over 600 people each year. It has since grown to serve almost 40,000 per year, 40 per cent of which are children under the age of 16.

While there, we were thrilled to present a $110,000 gaming grant cheque to the Kelowna Community Food Bank on behalf of the Province in recognition of their community service.

We genuinely appreciate the important role that community organizations play in the Kelowna area.

This is why MLAs Thomson, Norm Letnick and I find volunteering with groups such as the food bank to be such a fulfilling and important part of our responsibility as residents of the Kelowna area.

Over the holiday season, I encourage everyone who can to share some of their good fortune with families in need through the food bank.

Not only will you get to help spread some Christmas cheer, but it is the right thing to do.

For more information on the Kelowna Community Food Bank, visit www.kelownafoodbank.com.

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