211 helps you help oth­ers

South Shore Breaker - - Homes - SUZY TEUBNER steub­[email protected]

We are all fa­mil­iar with Santa Claus. The plump, white-bearded jolly fel­low dressed in a bright red suit is as­so­ci­ated with giv­ing. But the true story of Santa Claus ac­tu­ally stems from the an­cient Greek city of Myra in Asia Mi­nor (mod­ern-day Tur­key) and a man named Ni­cholas who, be­cause of his kind­ness, was made a saint.

St. Ni­cholas was a bishop dur­ing the time of the Ro­man Em­pire. His par­ents were wealthy and sadly died when he was young, leav­ing him a sub­stan­tial in­her­i­tance. From a young age, his par­ents in­stilled in him the im­por­tance of giv­ing to oth­ers, so he used his in­her­i­tance to help the sick and those in need. He be­came known for his gen­eros­ity. There are many sto­ries that he also gave se­cret gifts to those who needed help. Sound fa­mil­iar?

While most of us aren’t striv­ing for saint­hood, there are still many ways we can all make a dif­fer­ence in other peo­ple’s lives in our own com­mu­nity dur­ing this fes­tive time of year. When you want to help but don’t know where to start, 211 is here.

Whether you want to do­nate food or pro­vide a food ham­per to an in­di­vid­ual or a fam­ily in need, spon­sor an older adult, a low­in­come fam­ily or a per­son with a dis­abil­ity through an adopt-afam­ily pro­gram or go shop­ping for a gift for an older adult liv­ing in a care fa­cil­ity, 211 can nav­i­gate you to lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions where you can prac­tise kind­ness and help oth­ers who may be strug­gling dur­ing what should be a cheer­ful time of the year.

If you are in­ter­ested in giv­ing your time this sea­son, Vol­un­teer NS is an on­line re­source that launched in early Novem­ber that can help con­nect you to or­ga­ni­za­tions in your com­mu­nity need­ing vol­un­teers. The provincewide ser­vice is a part­ner­ship be­tween Kings Vol­un­teer Re­source Cen­tre, the Nova Sco­tia Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties, Cul­ture and Her­itage and Vol­un­teer Canada. It sup­ports both vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions in find­ing skilled vol­un­teers and po­ten­tial vol­un­teers in find­ing in­for­ma­tion and vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties.

To search the database, visit vol­un­teerns.ca. If you are un­able to con­nect on­line or need some help nav­i­gat­ing the web­site, sim­ply dial 211. We have part­nered with Vol­un­teer NS to help any­one try­ing to find or post op­por­tu­ni­ties that help build stronger com­mu­ni­ties.

If you find your­self in the po­si­tion of need­ing as­sis­tance this hol­i­day sea­son, 211 is also here to help you find a pro­gram in your com­mu­nity. Whether it’s a food ham­per, gift card, hol­i­day meal or other things, 211 can let you know about avail­abil­ity, el­i­gi­bil­ity and how to reg­is­ter for a hol­i­day pro­gram in your area.

To give or get help or to ask about hol­i­day pro­grams in your com­mu­nity, sim­ply dial 211, visit ns.211.ca or text 21167. 211 is free, con­fi­den­tial and of­fers over-the­p­hone trans­la­tion ser­vices in more than 100 lan­guages.

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