n old news clipping dated 1968, found in the SOS History files, tells a story about the spirit of giving — a spirit still very much alive and well in our community. The following piece of history captures the essence of the SOS Caring for Kids at Christmas Campaign, the society itself, and the wonderful individuals throughout this district.
He was just a little boy; a little boy of that indeterminate age between five and seven. He pushed upon the door of the candy shop with a jerk. He scarcely noticed the departing lady shopper who backed up hastily to avoid his onward rush to the counter. He had a penny to spend; not even a shiny new penny but one covered with the dirt of the street where he had found it not long before. Not often did he have a penny to spend, for his mother had to add pennies together to buy porridge to keep little boys warm on a frosty morning, or milk to try to keep their teeth in the best condition she could.
This penny was all his and he could spend it in his own way. As he selected the one cent candy he wanted and started to hand over his penny, he noticed a medium-sized jar with coloured lettering, Christmas symbols and the word ‘hampers’ written on it. It sat on the counter right at the same level as his eyes.
The jar contained a dollar bill and some pennies and dimes which barely covered the bottom. The little boy stared at it a moment, looked longingly at the candy, then quickly dropped the penny into the jar. It landed with a dull thud on the few with which it would keep company. He shook his head with a sad grin at the shop-keeper who told him he was a very good boy as he left the shop.
Who knows what thoughts went through his little head? This little boy should go far, he has an essential quality so necessary in today’s materialistic world — the milk of human kindness.
This little boy lives in Parksville.
Thank you all, young and old, businesses and groups, wealthy and otherwise, who once again helped to lighten the hearts of those less fortunate, allowing them to be part of the magical Christmas Spirit.
Renate Sutherland, executive director
District 69, Society of Organized Services