Tis Better To Give

Gift Giving, Christmas season, Kingston, OntarioLast Friday, two very different headlines were being talked about around the Limestone City. First there was Black Friday shopping madness, which goes hand in hand with spectacular deals on holiday gifts, as well as throngs of consumers fighting in the aisles for the last must have wish list item. The other was the official wrap of up this year’s United Way campaign, which raised a record amount of $3,145,000 that is distributed to Kingston-based community organizations. While both Black Friday fervour and the success of the KFL&A United Way campaign have generosity at their respective cores, the latter is far more significant thanks to the estimated 74,000 local residents who stand to benefit.  This got me thinking about altruism and acts of kindness that take place during the holiday season, which subsequently spurred this week’s poll question:

How will you help those who are in need during the holidays?

  • Food and gift donations (51%, 38 Votes)
  • All of the above (25%, 19 Votes)
  • Financial donations (15%, 11 Votes)
  • Volunteer time (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Something else entirely (4%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 75

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Over the past few years we’ve purchased show suits for local children in need, donated roosters and school supplies to people abroad on behalf of family members, as well as dropped off items for inclusion in the Foodbank’s holiday hamper. This year we’ve been batting around the idea of donating a little something extra, our time.  As I take stock of the weeks to come, I have four holiday parties to attend or otherwise host, three Christmas dinners, and a few other social engagements with friends who are making the rounds while they’re back in the area. While my time is definitely in short supply during the silly season, I feel as though volunteering to help prepare or serve a meal at an area shelter might be a great opportunity to connect, and reap the true rewards of giving.  In that respect, I’d love to hear what you and your family are doing to help make the holidays special for those who are less fortunate.  If you’ve got any leads for me, or other readers looking to volunteer time and energy during the holidays, please drop off a few comments below.

Special thanks to pure9 for today’s photo.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

3 thoughts on “Tis Better To Give

  • November 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm
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    The RCMP are hosting their annual XMas tree sale this weekend in support of the United Way. I'm not sure where they're sourced from, but this could potentially be a win-win scenario for those who are in need of a tree, and otherwise looking to do some good at the same time.

  • December 6, 2010 at 8:10 pm
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    I volunteer with a group that helps out the local Salvation Army in the weeks leading up to Christmas, wrapping the donated presents and packing up non-perishables for the Christmas Hampers.

    It's a bit selfish for me in that not only do I enjoy doing it, but also it's in the weeks leading up to Christmas, so I can easily fit it in.

    • December 6, 2010 at 8:16 pm
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      That's definitely not selfish, rather it's a good thing that you've found something that you enjoy, and that it fits with your schedule. I have contacted Martha's Table via phone and Email, and have yet to get a response as to whether or not they need, or are even looking for help this season. A friend suggested that I contact Volunteer Kingston, which I intend to do in the next day or so. Kind of surprised at the lack of response this topic received, and hoping that people are simply modest as opposed to not caring, too busy etc…

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