COLUMNS: Generosity flowing in the Cariboo

It seems like there are never enough days to do everything that needs to be done to get ready for Christmas.

It seems like there are never enough days to do everything that needs to be done to get ready for Christmas.

But somehow, we manage. And before we know it, it’s Christmas Eve and the children are nestled all snug in their beds.

This is a special time of year — a time for family and friends to come together to give both friendship and love. It is a time to give a little extra to those who need a helping hand.

Here in Williams Lake and area, people are generous year round. But at this time of year their hearts and wallets open wider.

I see it first-hand every year. Some shining examples of people giving generously include the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre’s Christmas breakfast, where volunteers along with the Ramada Hotel offer a delicious breakfast in exchange for a toy. I have had the pleasure of serving at this wonderful event for a number of years.

The Salvation Army has been looking after our area’s most vulnerable citizens with its annual Christmas kettle campaign since 1982. This Christmas, the Salvation Army will distribute more than 500 food hampers and about 315 toys to local families. Then they will open the doors to the dining hall on Christmas Day for the annual Christmas dinner at noon.

Operation Red Nose is back for its eighth year in Williams Lake, with volunteers giving their time to drive you and your car home, making sure anyone who has a few drinks gets home safely. As an added bonus, your donation for the use of Operation Red Nose supports local youth clubs and organizations.

I thank all of these organizations –—plus the ones I haven’t mentioned — and all volunteers for giving so much to our community. There is magic all around us at Christmas.

We live in the best place in the world — and at Christmas, the best place in the world gets even better, thanks to the people who live here.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

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