JUST CAUSE: Pottery family a poignant reminder of what’s important

Every once in a while, I need a reminder about the good things in life.

Every once in a while, I need a reminder about the good things in life.

I had been poised to write my Just Cause column about Christmas morning for people who have no money, no home, no family, or worse, who have children and cannot give them what the holiday seasons of the 21st century dictates now that commercialism, materialism and gift indulgence have taken the upper hand in what used to be a non commercial holiday prior to the 1950’s.

Christmas morning is the darkest hour for many in B.C. where the child poverty rate, again, is the worst in Canada for the eighth year in a row. Half of those children have at least one parent working fulltime, year-round. Added to them are those children with parents employed part time. Christmas morning  reinforces the hopelessness and indignity parents feel when they paid their hydro bill instead of buying new toys for the kids. If they have family, they have asked for food, not I-pods. If they receive charity, the hamper and angel tree donations will help, a lot, but there is just cause to ask what will people in the community do for the families and individuals struggling January through October.

My favourite Christmas movie is Christmas Carol because of the lessons about Christmas, social injustice, poverty and kindness.

The author, Charles Dickens, wrote: “I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”

But this is where my column goes in a direction I had not anticipated. This morning when I came into work, there was a Christmas parcel and a card sitting on my desk. It was from a grandmother who had taken a pottery class with her granddaughter. She wrote inside the card that she had been thinking about the homeless and thought about “pottery with a purpose.” Inside the Christmas parcel was a little family she had created, mother, father, two children, and logs on a fire, their fire, keeping them warm. This was a decoration and a reminder to me that in spite of my frustrations that I often write about – there are many who do care and have empathy and just need positive ways they can be encouraged to help the cause.

The pottery family – elegant, poignant, who will sit on top of my desk year-round as a symbol of hope and reassurance, must remind us all that while the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas season brings out the best in people, find a way to give not just of your finances, but of your talents, skills, knowledge and ideas, all the time! Let the holidays be a starting point to year-round giving so that those who have been left out in the cold will always feel the warmth.

Just Posted

Firefighters need more mental health support, says Campbell River fire chief

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty represented B.C. in Ottawa with fire chief’s association

Trapped Vancouver Island crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Habitat for Humanity hands over keys to Campbell River families

Organization will also hold key ceremony for project in Courtenay on Friday

Baby, it’s nasty outside: wind and rain will continue across Vancouver Island

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Campbell River to get safer as protective services increases OK’d

Another RCMP officer, better pay for auxiliary firefighters and more manpower at No.2 hall in 2020

VIDEO: ‘I won’t stop’ – local surfer hits the stormy seas of Stories Beach in Campbell River

Surfing community is growing in Campbell River, says Scotty Hewett

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Judge sets bail at $2.5 million in 1987 slaying of B.C. couple

William Talbott II, 55, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder

EU leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans

European Union leaders have offered Theresa May sympathy but no promises, as the British prime minister seeks a lifeline.

Powerful winds set to hit Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island

The agency says winds in coastal areas will strengthen up to 70 kilometres an hour before the front moves inland and gusts reach 90 kilometres an hour.

Mandatory victim surcharge cruel and unusual punishment, top court rules

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government made the charges mandatory in 2013.

Tourism minister postpones trip to China amid tensions between two countries

Tourism Minister Melanie Joly’s office says Canada and China have mutually agreed to postpone a closing ceremony next week.

Police across Canada probe bomb threats as U.S. authorities dismiss ‘hoax’

A police spokesman said the emails were the same as those received elsewhere in North America

France shooter killed Thursday during police operation

7 more being held by police in shooting investigation

Most Read