Editorial: Being thankful for what we have

Are we thankful and are we reaching charity burnout?

The question was asked in the streeter this week,  “What are you thankful for?” Most people mentioned family and friends. That can be expanded to obviously include them but also to include the fact that we live in one of the best provinces and countries in the world. We are not faced with civil unrest and wars, starvation, drought or extreme poverty.

Thanksgiving in Canada is not the same as it is in the U.S. Canadians don’t have the same history but we do have the same sense of thankfulness. Thanksgiving to us doesn’t mean the beginning of the Christmas shopping frenzy. It means giving thanks for the simpler things and appreciation for the lives we have. It is also a nice long weekend and an opportunity to get together with the people we care about.

Because we are thankful, we often show it by donating to various charities and service-type organizations. But the question to be asked is, are you getting charity burnout? It seems every month there is a huge flurry of fund-raisers for everything from cancer research to the food bank. These are all good causes but to avoid being broke yourself you have to choose your charity. Those charities that have volunteers are the ones which need the most help. They don’t have highly paid executives, CAOs and fund-raising experts, they have people who want to help. It is absolutely mind blowing when you research where the donations go in many organizations. Often very little goes to the cause itself and too much to executive salaries and bonuses. When the dollars are tight, let’s make sure our donations are going to the cause not the machine itself. Charity and fund-raising has become an industry and a very lucrative one at that. Charity begins at home, and places like Sooke prove that we look after our own as much as we can.

Happy Thanks and Giving.