Holiday Helpers

This time of year, we all tend to want to spread the love and support, not only because ‘it’s the season of giving,’ but also because we recognize the challenges and emotions that can come with the holidays. So, just how can we make an impact locally?

Make a donation to an organization that is meaningful to you. 
Non-profit organizations and the volunteers who run them are the bones of community. They see where there is a need or opportunity, and raise funds and apply for grants and create partnerships to meet it. We are so fortunate to be home to inspiring groups, doing fantastic work. 

Adopt a family through the Salvation Army’s Christmas Hamper Campaign.
Christmas can add a lot of extra financial stress to families already struggling to make ends meet. This program hopes to deliver holiday cheer to vulnerable families through food hampers and gifts for children. Call 250-423-4668 for info. You can also call this number to register if you are in need of support this year. 

Make a difference and reach a reader through CBAL’s Books for Kids campaign.
You can do this through their site ( by purchasing socks or a Love2Learn shirt. Funds from this campaign support books for children and youth, and family programs. 

Donate your time! 
Volunteering is not only good for you, it’s good for your community. Every organization you come across could use a little help, and also a little recognition. 

Volunteer burnout is a thing, the more community members who put their hands up, the better for everyone. 

Essentials go a long way.
The Fernie Women’s Resource Center is always in need of day-to-day items such as diapers, grocery gift cards, gas gift cards, pads, tampons, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant. 

Go out of your way for the people you see making a difference. 
Tell a teacher just how much impact they are having on your kid’s life. Thank a friend who spends hours organizing events for the betterment of their community. Surprise someone who is overwhelmed with a ‘treat yo’ self ’ gift so they are forced to take time for them… and babysit if childcare is one of their challenges. 

In discussion with a local non-profit, a few really important points were shared with me:

If you donate money give the organization the flexibility to use the funds in the areas of priority they have identified.
Try to donate items that are only in excellent shape, like new or nearly new.
Do not drop off items outside of designated times or if you aren’t sure if they can be useful to the agency. This can often just create more work for an overworked non-profit.

Take a good look around, and I bet it won’t be difficult for you to find ways to support your fellow community members this holiday season.