OUR VIEW: Reach out and help someone this season

There’s no denying it: Times are tough all around.

Here in the Lower Mainland, the cost of living is rising faster than pay raises. Housing is eating more and more out of a person’s, or a family’s, monthly income – and that’s if you’re lucky enough to find an affordable place to rent or, hopefully, you own your own place.

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Everywhere we turn, it seems, there’s a lot of grim economic news. The rich continue to get richer as the poor get poorer

Yes, we know it’s a cliché, but that cliché translates into very real and very difficult situations for many people, right here in New Westminster. And no one is immune, from single adults to senior citizens, from families to teens in crisis, from the homeless to the working poor.

Many organizations say they’re seeing far more people turning to them this year than ever before. For people who are just making ends meet, it doesn’t take much to get to a point where the ends are no longer meeting at all.

As we have since 1996, the Record is publishing our annual Guide to Giving – starting on page 3. The full version is on our website at www.newwestrecord.ca.

Consider it the one-stop shop for learning more about many groups in the city, what they do, who they help and why you might want to get involved with donations or volunteering. There’s quite a variety of groups out there. Some help people who are in crisis. Others fill a gap when times get tough.

Still others simply help fulfil a simple Christmas wish for a child. Many people have probably already told themselves that they can’t afford to help out this year. But the truth is that, at the end of the day, most of us can – and should.

When people in a community are taken care of by each other, when people know that their neighbours care and strangers are willing to help, that makes the community better for everyone. What better Christmas wish could there be for New Westminster than to ensure that everyone here knows that help is available and that the season still has some magic in it?

Think about it. We hope you’ll give a little of yourself this year.

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