2011 December 22
This is a special time of year. While no different for those in need, many of us are especially aware of our good fortune and the grace shown to us during the holidays. While we are preparing for feasts and gift giving, enjoying the lights, music and pure jubilation of the city, we cannot help but notice that not everyone is able to join in. Christmas is a great time to serve your community, your loved ones, and those less fortunate worldwide. It’s vital to teach your children about the condition of most people in the world, and it especially hits home when those in their own community live with less. But you know what I’ve found? We grown-ups need the reminder just as much as our kids. In our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to speed past the world and forget how truly fortunate we are.
At Core Elements we pride ourselves on being a part of our communities, of remembering others during the entire year, and of doing nice things for others and in our neighborhoods. One of our most precious charities is Burns Bog – it is the largest raised peat bog on the west coast of the Americas and is in danger of being developed. This Christmas you can attend the Bog Solstice Walk on Thursday, December 22, at 3pm. It costs $5 per person, plus a gift item for the “Think Generously” Christmas Gift Hamper. This month you can also find a note from David Suzuki on their web site, addressing the question of real vs. artificial Christmas trees, “Speaking of trees, I’m often asked whether it’s better to use real or artificial Christmas trees. A life-cycle assessment study conducted by sustainability research firm Ellipsos Inc. found that real trees are better for the environment overall than fake trees. In Vancouver, the CarbonSync™ organization will even rent you a potted tree that they will deliver and pick up after Christmas and plant, with some of the proceeds going to the Burns Bog Conservation Society.”
Another of our favorite charities is the Western Wilderness Committee. They are Canada’s largest membership-based, citizen-funded wilderness protection group. They are united in their mission to protect Canada’s biodiversity through strategic research and grassroots public education.
The Christmas Bureau is another fantastic place to give this Christmas. They will ship over 100,000 toys to the lower mainland this year. They will also supply clothes and over $100,000 in food vouchers to over 1,800 families living in Vancouver this holiday season.
This year my boys and I will be visiting our local Food Bank. We will spend the day working in the back, stocking food, and will get a chance to hand out food to those in need. I think it is so important to teach our children the value of giving back, that not everyone is as fortunate as we are, and that they need to be aware and support those less fortunate.
We often have good intentions to give, serve, and volunteer during the holidays. But the season sneaks up on us, and before we realize it, we haven’t made the plans or set aside the time – and those good intentions remain just that. So this year, let us all remember to take some time to remember those around us who need support and charity during the Christmas season, and all through the year!