EDITORIAL: Our community’s giving season

Parksville Qualicum Beach's residents, organizations and businesses answer the call for the needy every year

Ours is a giving community.

We are proud to play our small part in all the efforts made by Parksville Qualicum Beach residents, organizations and businesses to help the less fortunate of our region.

The best part? Most of these efforts are fun.

There were about 40 horses and their riders on the streets of Parksville on Sunday taking part in the 16th annual Silver Spurs Toy Ride. The horses and their riders were decked out in Christmas garb, the weather was fantastic and the horses were on their best behaviour.

This could have just been a fun event, but in true Parksville Qualicum Beach fashion, the Silver Spurs Riding Club ensures the event does more than that by making it a function that collects toys for children through the Society of Organized Services.

More toys and cash will be raised for the less fortunate of our region Wednesday morning at the Toy Drive Breakfast at Tigh-Na-Mara. The resort, like so many other businesses in our region, takes giving back to the community seriously and this is a huge undertaking by Tigh-Na-Mara.

Last year, more than 1,400 people sat down for a free breakfast at Tigh-Na-Mara after donating a toy to the SOS. There were more than 1,700 toys collected. We encourage residents to help beat those totals this year (the breakfast starts at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday).

In a couple of weeks, the Bethlehem Walk returns to the holiday season calendar after a one-year hiatus. More than 10,000 people enjoyed the efforts of volunteers a couple of years ago who create a real-life, period-accurate village on the grounds of the Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church on Pym Street.

There is no admission charge for this massive undertaking (Dec. 14-17) but people are asked to bring a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Salvation Army.

The Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church says this is their gift to the community. Quite a gift indeed.

There are many more outstanding efforts underway in our region to help the less fortunate, too many to list in this space. We encourage all of our readers to give what they can — money, food, volunteer time. These efforts enrich us all and make us a community rather than a spot on a map.

— Editorial by John Harding