When I think about what I am most grateful for at this time of year, it always comes down to family. My family members are the people in my life who mean the most to me. I am reminded about how fortunate we are to be living in our family home, how we have kept our traditions, have way too much food, and how we sit and enjoy each other’s company long after the meal is done. Our kids are all young adults living in various places, but it’s still important for them to make the pilgrimage home because I think they’re grateful for our family Christmas as well. Holiday movies and songs all focus on one thing: going “home” for the holidays. We’d probably all agree that gifts are lovely, but what’s more important is spending the holidays with the people in your life who mean the most to you. When we’re fortunate enough to spend time with loved ones, it’s easy to be grateful.
Gratitude is the first ingredient to helping. When we are grateful for what we have, we are able to count our blessings and think about those who are struggling. We want others to have the same happiness that we have. But, circumstances get in the way and make the holidays hard for many families. The complications of poverty, health, and family dynamics conspire to make it difficult for people. Despite these obstacles, everyone rallies to try to give children and families the kind of holiday celebration that we all imagine—that special toy, sparkling decorations, and a turkey dinner. People come together despite difficult circumstances to celebrate the holidays.
Here at Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs, we do everything we can to help. We are amazed at the support of local businesses and the community who have joined our “Adopt a Family Program” which matches people who want to help others with families who need help during the holidays. We also have businesses and community folks who make sure that young people who are living with us in our housing programs are well taken care of. Companies like WestJet help us run events that encourage families to be together. For many of the children, youth, and families we serve our Club staff members are like a family. When school is out, we are in; ready to provide services and programs during the holiday break.
We are grateful for the ongoing support of people like you, who help us to provide our programs and services, not just in the holiday season, but year round. If you haven’t had a chance to contribute to our programs, we encourage you to donate to our Great Futures Campaign, which ends on December 20th. The WestJet voucher draw for the campaign will take place on December 22nd. Our campaign goal of $25 000 is within reach!
We wish you all a happy holiday season with the people in your life who mean the most to you.
- Diane Entwistle
CEO Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs