“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
The Grinch said it best when summing up the true meaning of this season of giving.
At a time when many people are struggling due to the impacts of the novel coronavirus, the public is urged to consider giving to their local charities.
The Morning Star has compiled a list of local needs, but know that this is far from complete as there are several organizations working to make a difference in our communities:
• North Okanagan Hospice Society: Operating needs amount to $50,000 per month at the Hospice House, where making residents and their families feel at home is a top priority. Donations help pay for groceries, equipment and supplies. 250-503-1800 or nohs.ca
• H.O.P.E. Okanagan: Volunteers are trying their best to bring some holiday joy to everyone on the streets. If you are interested in helping us play Santa send us a message to see what we can work together on or donate to the cause online hopeokanagan.com
• People Place: New chairs and tables for the meeting rooms are on the wish list of this organization, which houses dozens of services and assist thousands of individuals and families.
• Turning Points Collaborative Society: Physical donations aren’t being accepted during the pandemic, but help is still needed to serve the less fortunate of the community. To do so, visit the CanadaHelps.org page.
• Archway Society for Domestic Peace: New, unwrapped toy donations are being collected at the Village Green Shopping Centre until Dec. 18.
• North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society: is the recipient of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s Merriment Experiment. The secret-Santa type event will see all registration fees ($10 - due by Friday, Dec. 4) donated to NOYFSS and the Chamber is also sponsoring a family. You can also donate to Home Depot’s Orange Door Project until Dec. 20, which NOYFSS is the recipient of.
• Salvation Army Food Bank: With the cancellation of most traditional food drives, there is an even greater need to stock the shelves this year. Sign up for a shift to ring the kettle bells or donate online at vernonhouseofhope.com/Christmas.
• VJH Foundation: Light A Bulb and raise funds for an echocardiogram at our local hospital, call 250-558-1362 or visit vjhfoundation.org/donate
• Seniors: Nexus is Making Spirits Bright through the campaign that gives to seniors who may be feeling alone this holiday. All you have to do is purchase a gift card, enclose it in a cheerful card with the receipt and drop it off at Nexus BC Community Resource Centre,102-3201 30th St., by Dec. 15. London Drugs is also giving to seniors with stocking stuffers. Shoppers can take a wish list tag off the Christmas tree at the store and purchase the item and give it to the store, which will then deliver the items to seniors in our area.
• Enderby Christmas Gift Exchange: Toy Drive on until Dec. 5 with gift tags at Johnston Meier Insurance in Enderby. Buy a gift from the wish list and return it to the dropbox at the Red Apple in Enderby.
• Lake Country Food Bank: is focused on helping clients stay warm this winter, especially men. Coats, sweaters, wool socks, blankets, toques, mitts are in need. Non-perishable food items are always needed. Donations can be dropped off at the food bank or at the Rhodes Farm 10175 Chase Rd. on Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Armstrong Regional Co-op Christmas Food Drive: Dec. 5-19 drop off non-perishable food donations at any Armstrong Regional gas bar locations and enter to win a $200 Co-op gas card.
Giving also doesn’t have to cost anything. Nexus is looking for volunteer snow shovellers. You can ring a kettle bell. Volunteer for a local charity. The list goes on.
And if you’re struggling to decide who to give to, there is one local group dedicated to ensuring donations make it to those most in need.
“We are recognizing that things are very different this year for organizations due to COVID-19. Most places are unable to accept physical donations from the public. So we have really tried to narrow it down to places so you can decide on what is most important to you,” founder of Give LUCK Myrika Godard said.
Give LUCK is a North Okanagan initiative with a trailer set up to accept donations at 6074 Star Rd.