July 23, 2024

BY Mike Vielma
The fall colours of red, orange and yellow have seamlessly shifted to the red and green of Christmas and the shrieks and screams of Halloween trick-or-treaters have been replaced with the harmonious melodies of festive carols.
The season of giving is upon us.
Often people associate Christmas with giving presents to their loved ones on a fun-filled snowy day.
But not all gifts are unwrapped from festive paper in front of family and friends.
Sometimes, the most rewarding gift can be giving to complete strangers, and not expecting a gift in return.
An easy way to do this is to give to the United Way. This organization collects money and gives it to other charities, which, in turn, provide basic and secondary necessities, such as shelter and counselling services.
Some people are privileged to have more than enough resources at their disposal. Others are not quite as blessed.
According to uwaykw.org, between 2001 and 2006 the number of families classified as “poor working” grew more than six per cent and the number of emergency beds grew approximately 42 per cent in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
We need to stop living our comfortable lives and start helping others in need.
At Conestoga, our United Way campaign started about a month ago to help get the season of giving rolling. We set a goal of $50,000 and are currently 87 per cent of the way there (as of Nov. 7).
There are many ways to help.
There is the common outlet of donating money to families in need. You could also donate basic living essentials such as toiletries, clothes or even food, or go outside the box and buy and wrap presents to donate to individuals of all ages.
Knowing you made a little girl’s Christmas would be truly priceless.
There are also events to volunteer at if you would rather get your hands dirty. You could help out at a local United Way event, maybe a hockey tournament or a canned food drive. You could even organize your own event at your workplace or even in your college program.
What may seem like a little to you, could go a long way in bringing happiness to another individual.
Every tiny bit counts.

The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.