Eye-opening generosity for holiday season

This being my first holiday season in a rural setting, I was curious coming to see just how it would all unfold. So far, the biggest difference I’ve noticed from growing up in an urban centre, is how much the community comes together for each other during the holidays.

This goes for both Burns Lake and Houston, it’s honestly staggering to not only how many businesses have holiday fundraising initiatives, but how many people support these initiatives as well. In the two communities combined there so many examples of this, like the cram the cruiser event that took place in Houston, coordinated with the Houston Salvation Army.

In fact, that same Salvation Army also does an amazing Christmas Hamper initiative to make sure everyone in the community has access to a Christmas dinner. It’s really is cool to see.

Burns Lake is no different, with the fill the sleigh campaign [which is very similar to cram the cruiser] run by the local Red Apple store, The Link’s season of giving campaign, the Burns Lake Airsoft Association’s holiday fundraiser partnering with the Tweedsmuir Hotel, and how could I forget about the senior’s trees put up in Wild Roots and IDA to collect presents for the elderly community.

That doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the amazing community initiatives going on between the two towns.

Now, this isn’t to say that people in big cities don’t donate to charity, because they do, and there are some great local initiatives from restaurants and independent businesses all over the place in Toronto.

The feel is just different though in a tight-knit community such as this. Even something so simple as seeing police volunteering at an event collecting toys for example, and actually knowing that the officer is a member of the community and cares about the people around them.

That’s not saying that Toronto cops don’t care, it’s just different when you feel like that officer is really connected to the cause and what their volunteering for as opposed to going through the motions while on duty for a community that they don’t even live in.

That’s a very specific example, but in a broader sense, it’s also just the fact that everyone around town rallies around these initiatives so much. Over $5,000 dollars was raised in cash and toy donations for the fill the sleigh campaign. I’m no mathematician, but assuming each toy is worth an average of lets say $20, that would mean almost everyone in town donated to the cause.

It’s something that I was told I would experience living in a small town over the holidays, and now that it’s here I must say I’m very impressed with how the communities of Burns Lake and Houston have come together to take care of each other during Christmas.

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Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
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