The shopping malls around Greater Victoria haven’t exactly been empty over this Christmas season, but there’s a sense people aren’t spending as much these days.
Governments at all levels are facing deficits and cutbacks, and the economy isn’t exactly roaring upward.
Despite lingering tough times, people across Greater Victoria have once again shown immense compassion and generosity over the past few months.
Each week and almost each day we’ve seen new examples youth, adults, businesses and public sector organizations working hard to bring in food, clothing and toys for people in poverty and who are homeless.
Kids and teachers at schools such as Belmont secondary, Mount Doug high and Cedar Hill middle school have brought in piles of food, gifts and cash for food banks in Greater Victoria. Oak Bay high kids created gift bags for people spending Christmas in the cancer ward.
A small army of Salvation Army volunteers have manned collection kettles at shopping centres across the region.
In driving wind and rain, the annual truck light parade wound its way through the city and people were happy to give food for the Mustard Seed, a key food bank for the region that has seen significant cutbacks this year.
Some, like a preschool owner in Fairfield, raised enough donations help more than 65 families with Christmas hampers. Or Department of Defence personnel who have come through big for the United Way.
These examples are the tip of the iceberg of those who give a little and a lot. Most people won’t see the joy they bring to kids who live in poverty, seniors who struggle on meager fixed incomes, and families given a chance to have a hearty meal that might normally fall outside their limited budget.
We hope Christmas season helps bring out the best in people, and this year again, we think it has.