Have and have not
Newfoundland and Labrador is said to be a “have” province.
Just last week we learned our provincial government is looking at a surplus of $755 million, which it plans to pay down on our long-term debt.
Things are looking rosy for all those who “have” in our “have” province.
But as the rich get richer and the poor poorer — what else is new — things are not always the way they appear through the eyes of those who can afford those rose coloured glasses.
There are still many, too many in our society, who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in the have not category.
For example, according to the Community Food Sharing Association’s website, “there are nearly 32,000 people who don’t have enough to eat,” in our “have” province. Try explaining our “have” status to them. For those who think lack of food is only a problem that exists far away and out of sight in third world countries, the Food Sharing Association reminds us that those who do not have enough food “live in your neighbourhood; their kids go to school with your kids. They are poor, but they are also working class or middle class.” And, from time to time they need our help. Christmas is one of those times. Thank God for people like the Community Food Sharing Association, St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and others, who put their money where their mouth is and practice what they preach.
To bring the issue closer to home, last Christmas the Salvation Army Carbonear provided food hampers to over 300 needy families in the Trinity Conception region. They also helped bring smiles to the faces of over 1,200 children by making sure they had a toy or gift on Christmas morning.
They were able to do so through the generosity of people who turned out at the T.C. Square last week to support worthy causes like the Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign and the KIXX Country Toy Tree.
Some 32 years after CHVO Radio first planted the original Happy Tree, the spirit of giving at this time of year was still in the air at last week’s official launch.
As one of the corporate sponsors of this project, we at The Compass are pleased to be able to help spread the word and do whatever we can to support this worthy cause.
The name has changed, but the need appears to be just as great and the cause for which the Toy Tree stands tall and firm and majestic is just as worthy as ever.
Getting back to the Food Sharing Association for a moment, their “immediate goal is to feed hungry people.” But their ultimate objective is even more ambitious and laudable: “to eliminate chronic hunger and alleviate poverty.”
While we are pleased to be able to do our share to help out in whatever way we can when it comes to worthy causes like the Toy Tree campaign, we also hope and pray for the day when there would be no need for food banks and kettle campaigns and toy trees.
Then and only then will the less fortunate in our society be able to comprehend what this “have” status really means to those who still have not.