Christmas spirit is different for those families in need

How many times a day do you think about Christmas?  Maybe you have hundreds of thoughts about the upcoming holiday, because of the Christmas music, advertisements and shopping. You’re thinking about all the food you’ll be eating that day and during the period leading up to Christmas. You’re also thinking about the toys your children will receive from Santa, and generous relatives and friends. Your lists of food and gifts have likely been prepared and you are diligently crossing off items in anticipation of the big day.  You and your family are very fortunate.

There are others in your community that are not thinking about Christmas the same way, as they don’t have the financial means to provide Christmas food and toys for their family. The Christmas season can be a difficult time of year for those who are in need.  The stress of the season mixed with financial concerns can be a lot for anyone to handle.  Many who end up needing assistance are faced with unexpected circumstances that may leave them with little cash for the holidays.  Parents are making difficult choices – pay the bills or buy Christmas presents. Imagine what Christmas would be like without a Christmas meal and presents under the tree. Please help less fortunate families celebrate Christmas with dignity.

At Community Centre 55 our Share-A Christmas program has been helping needy families for 30 years, and this season about 1,000 families need our assistance. Unfortunately right now we don’t have enough non-perishable food or toys for the increasing numbers of families that need our help.  All the food and toys that we receive will be delivered to the families on Dec. 22, along with a hamper of perishable items for a hearty Christmas meal. Please help us, so needy families can enjoy a festive meal and be able to have their children open a gift on Christmas morning.

Here are some easy ways to help your neighbours in need:

• A monetary donation to our Share-A-Christmas campaign would help us buy turkeys and other perishable foods;

• Support our Teen Angel program by buying much needed teen presents or gift cards;

• Plan a non-perishable food collection at your family or business parties;

• Contribute to our CanPaign program when you see our cans in your local businesses;

• Volunteer your time to sort pack and deliver the food and toys to the families;

• Watch for food drops at participating outlets including Loblaws and FreshCo;

• When shopping, please consider buying some of the following much needed non-perishable products for donation: pasta and sauce, cereal, Kraft dinner, canned fruits and vegetables; canned meats and fish(tuna and salmon), peanut butter, jam, soups, stews and baby food.  Also, food for cats and dogs is needed.

Remember every little bit helps.

We are located at 97 Main St and can be reached at 416 691-1113.

Thank you for your generosity.  Hundreds of children will be truly grateful.

Also, a big thank you to Beach Metro News for helping us get the word out, to ensure that all families in our neighbourhood have a memorable Christmas.

On behalf of the staff and board of management at Community Centre 55 I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Debbie Visconti is Executive Director of Community Centre 55.

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