EDITORIAL: 6,000 times $20

Consider helping the needy this Christmas through the SOS

The Society of Organized Services fills large gaps in our region and needs your support this holiday season so they can provide a respite for those who feel the stress of life every day.

For many who seek the help of the SOS, providing enough food for their family is a struggle every day. Tough choices have to be made every day about food over the electricity bill, shelter over keeping the car insured, clothes over buying a child a used bike.

Every child should have food and clothes. Every child should have a bike, for crying out loud.

It’s easy to point at bad decisions by adults as reasons for poverty. Yes, there are those who are choosing a carton of cigarettes or cases of beer over the every-day needs of both themselves and their families. There are those who can work who don’t even seek work. There are those who seek the escape of drugs to dull the pain of reality.

We think too many people focus their attention on the ones who they believe don’t deserve our support, although ‘deserve’ is a dicey word at best.

We ask our readers this holiday season to focus instead on those who, by no real fault of their own, find themselves in need.

There are people with mental health and addiction issues that are not getting the professional help they need. There are those who don’t have the education or experience to get a good-paying job, even if it was available. Perhaps they had children at a young age. Perhaps they had to flee abuse. Perhaps they are the third or fourth generation of a family that lived on social assistance — they were never shown another way to live.

Yes, the policies of senior governments have conspired against these people to some degree. Changes in policy and priorities will be slow coming, if at all.

So, for right now, for this holiday season and the months (probably years) to come, we are fortunate to have organizations like the SOS to fill the gaps.

There are about 40,000 people in the region covered by the SOS. Using an ultra conservative estimate, we believe there are at least 6,000 people who could afford to contribute $20 to the SOS in the next two weeks. That would be $120,000 and would ensure everyone in our region, all the children, had some fun, food and gifts this Christmas.

Take a look at the stocking on page three today. Check it out in our next two Tuesday papers (Dec. 15, Dec. 22). The SOS goal for the season is $110,000. We ask that you make a contribution so we can blow the top off that goal.

— Editorial by John Harding

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