Editorial: Giving has its own rewards

Giving can make a difference to your mental health

Wow! Sooke is one generous community. If anyone has ever lived in a small town, they know what “community” is and they know how people come together for a common cause. They help each other out and give from their hearts. This is what community is all about.

Sooke labels itself the Volunteer Capital of Canada and it is. Volunteers stand outside in the cold and rain collecting donations for everything from the Salvation Army kettles to the bottle drives and the Christmas Bureau. While we honour and thank those volunteers, we must remember to honour and thank those who’s hard earned coins and bills fill those donation containers. It is the giver, after all, who is making the biggest difference, and we have lots of those people in Sooke.

The Sooke Santa Run and the outlying area’s Candy Cane Run were hugely successful. The fire departments estimate they have raised over $500,000 in cash, toys and non-perishable food items in the 20 years they have been helping others. All of this goes to the Sooke Food Bank in an effort to make the holidays a little brighter for those who have little.

It would be even better if the government (both federal and provincial) deemed it worthy enough to help out a little with such things. They leave those things to us who pay their wages and pensions and expenses. Doesn’t seem fair but as long as we do our best, they won’t do a thing.

During this time of year, let’s reflect on the comfortable lives we live and how we can enrich the lives of others. Charity does begin at home and this home is one of the most generous. There is still time to volunteer to help fill those hampers, it takes a lot of people to make all this happen and you can be a part of it. Giving feels good, it’s been shown those who give feel happier and less depressed than those who don’t. Politicians and policy makers could learn from this.