The arrival of the holiday season always causes me to look back and reflect on the year that has just passed. 2021 was a year with no shortage of challenges — especially here in the Cariboo. From the ongoing pandemic to the devastating wildfire season, we have been through so much in the last 12 months. However, despite the difficulties we have faced, I end this year enormously grateful for the people of the Cariboo. The way we have weathered storms, refusing to let challenges divide us, but instead coming together to help friends, loved ones, and even complete strangers in times of need.
For me, the generous spirit of the Cariboo has been on full display this past year, but here is just one example from the last few weeks. The 33rd annual Turkey Day Fundraiser organized by Country 840 in 100 Mile House exceeded its goal of 400 turkeys, with each turkey being a pledge of $25 which goes to the 100 Mile Food Bank for its Christmas hamper distribution. Thank you to all those who took the time to donate to this important cause.
Additionally, I want to say a heartfelt thank-you to all residents and small businesses who responded so kindly to my urgent plea for an emergency toy drive at the Children’s Development Centre. This plea came as a result of lower than normal contributions due to COVID-19 and other circumstances. However, the response to my call for donations was overwhelming and people showed up in huge numbers and filled the gym with toys and donations for more than 15 different agencies that care for children across the region.
The Cariboo-Chilcotin truly is an amazing place, and one I feel so privileged to get to represent as an MLA. Your contributions will make a real difference in the lives of children and families, and I am so thankful for all those to stepped up to look after our community — you have an incredible ability to care for your neighbours no matter the circumstance.