I have never remembered a Christmas that wasn’t full of joy.
My family immigrated to Vancouver from the Philippines when I was 7 years old.
At that time, employers strangely didn’t recognize post secondary credentials from other countries. I say strangely because today many huge corporations have head offices in other countries working the exact jobs they require a new credential for here (that is a blog topic for another day).
My dad was a software engineer in the Philippines and he had to go back to school when we got here to get re-certified.
He also had to support my family of five as my mom stayed at home. I remember my dad working night shifts at KFC while he went to school during the day.
I didn’t clue into the extent of this hardship until I was in university and worked part-time with no dependents to feed.
As I became older my parents would share how there were times they couldn’t make ends meet and my mom (with my baby sister in tow) would have to line up for the food bank. If I stop to recall my memories of Christmas it was never that we were lacking anything – they were always so fun.
As the eldest of my siblings I remember not being able to go to the movies with friends and we rarely went shopping unless it was at the thrift shop across the street. But at the time I didn’t think of it as anything more than my parents being strict!
Twenty seven years later it breaks my heart to think of the struggle my parents went through and to think of families today struggling to make ends meet.
This holiday season, as well as throughout the year especially with COVID, my family is giving back. And if you are within your means I encourage your family to do the same.
While we can’t help everyone here are some fun ways for you and your family to give back:
- Sponsor a family with kids around your kids ages. It might be fun to get your kids involved in shopping for a gift to give.
- Bake some treats for your senior neighbours. Seniors are especially lonely during this time, especially with this pandemic. You will likely not be able to visit a senior’s home safely dropping off some baked treats to neighbours may ease a little bit of loneliness for them.
- Pack a few care kits (thermal socks, gloves, toques & a sweet treat) to drop off at a local shelter.
- Find a local organization to support. Share their mission and activities with the family then make donation.
Don’t have the extra funds to give back but want to do something? Organizing a fundraiser to support your local organizations can be as easy as collecting bottles from your neighbours to donate or volunteering your time.
Need help looking for organizations? Contact me and I’m happy to refer some to you 🙂