From The Editor’s Desk: Volunteering to help others gives special meaning to the holidays

Alan Shackleton is editor of the Beach Metro News.


Well, here we are, it’s exactly two weeks until Christmas Day and while many may have had their shopping done weeks ago, there are others who are only just now starting to think about what presents they need to buy.

I’ll admit, I’m one of those people who has yet to seriously get started on the shopping.

But that’s fine, I always felt I did my best work under pressure and I haven’t missed a Christmas so far. Santa always seemed to find a way to get to where he needed to be, though not necessarily with much time to spare.

That being said, I’d like to encourage everyone who’s still on the hunt for presents to make an extra effort to shop locally.

The Beach Metro News is full of information letting you know about the great people, places and businesses in our community.

Get out from behind that computer screen and go meet the people who run the stores, the art galleries, the craft shops, pubs, coffee shops and restaurants in your neighbourhood.

There’s no better time than the holidays to get together with family and friends, whether it be for a drink, a meal or going out to enjoy a family event.

There’s certainly no shortage of opportunities to do that in your very own neighbourhood.

There are concerts and performances galore slated locally for the holiday season, many of them featured in the Beach Metro News.

Take the time to find something that interests you, and make a plan to attend. It helps build a sense of community; and it gets you and the rest of the family out meeting with other human beings instead of just hiding inside the house with your technology.

Much is being made these days of the need for everyone, but especially kids, to unplug and decrease their screen time.

I couldn’t agree more. And this is the absolute best time of year for everybody to slow down, take a breath and reflect on what is really important.

A great way to do that is to volunteer or make a donation that will help others who may not be as fortunate as you and your family are this Christmas.

Here’s a local suggestion: St. John’s Mission on Broadview Avenue looking for donations of winter gear to help those in need as the cold weather really starts to dig in at this time of year.

Also, Community Centre 55 will be looking for lots of volunteers come next week to help with the packing and sorting of their Share A Christmas hampers.

This program is vitally important to hundreds of local families. As Jade Maitland of Community Centre 55 told me, there are many children who it would have been  “impossible” for them to have Christmas gifts if not for these hampers. Now that’s a worthy cause we can all get behind.

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