by Chris Boyle, Past President, Rotary Club of Peachland.
… and a Happy New Year!
And here we are: Christmas gone, December almost done. A time of giving, of goodwill, of hope, of laughter and of joy, of looking forward to the hope and promise of the New Year and new beginnings, new adventures.
Unfortunately, not everyone experiences Christmas, December, like that. The homeless, the disadvantaged, the destitute, the victims of addiction, of war and hatred, the sick, the maimed, the victims of disaster. For all of these, December, Christmas, is just like any other time of year, any other day, in an appallingly difficult world where even existence is a battle.
The good news? There are individuals in our own little community, who are more concerned for others than they are for themselves. You will have noticed a photo in this weeks’ paper, The Peachland View, where Judy Bedford of the Peachland Food Bank, was presented with a couple of cheques by our Rotary Club. Where did we get the money? From you and your friends, through donations at Light-Up and from your purchase of our Raffle tickets. But that’s not the end of the chain: the Cuddly toy at Light Up was donated by one of our own Rotarians (again); the Raffle Prizes of $1000.00 in IGA gift cards were donated by Harry and Brenda Gough of our own IGA store. We sold all the tickets and raised $4000.00 from you, our public – thanks to Harry & Brendas’ generosity and to the always dedicated Rotarians who organised the raffle and the sales teams and to those who actually sold the tickets.
The generosity of individuals is rarely recognised – not because it isn’t valued but because it’s part of our psyche: we support good causes. Ever put a dollar in a Salvation Army Kettle? Of course you have. Ever weakened and given some change to the homeless chap with the dog at Towne Centre Mall or bought some unfortunate person a sandwich and coffee somewhere? I bet you have. The gurus tell us that we are not helping, we are enabling and perpetuating the behaviour. We may be, but we are also exercising our own humanity in the hope that somehow we will make that persons’ life that little bit better, even for an hour or so. Frankly, I’d rather do that than use psychology to excuse my being a Grinch. WestJet always seem to come up with a way to help at Christmas, without any apparent regard for profit – and we know that they support community groups like ours, as well.
This year our Club has been recognised by Rotary International for our members’ donations in support of POLIO eradication and in support of the Rotary Foundation. We were also recognised by ShelterBox with a Gold award for your generosity …. ShelterBox continues to support people affected by conflict or disaster worldwide, providing shelter, tools, warmth and the opportunity to stay in place and rebuild shattered lives. As I’ve said repeatedly: your generosity enables so much good in our war-torn and disaster struck world as well as in our town.
We look to the New Year with anticipation, hoping that goodwill and care for all, regardless of race or colour, of political bent or religious belief, will make it both happy and joyous. Thursdays at the Gasthaus, 11:45am. Come join us! The Rotary Club of Peachland wishes a Happy and Healthy New Year to you all!
Published in the Peachland View, December 2016
“Rotary is a leadership organization…..
We are made up of people like you. Many of us are
local business, professional and civic leaders.
We meet regularly, get to know each other,
form friendships, and through that, we are able to
get things done in this community and elsewhere in the World”