Have and have not

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

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.

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