I am glad to see that the Smoky River region is embracing a cold, snowy winter for the first time in a while.
This is the time of year that we need winter to properly set in, no more rain is required. Period.
However, while I willingly embrace winter, that feeling is tempered by the fact that many needy children and families lack proper winter clothing and footwear.
The Edmonton Journal had a story about this issue on Nov. 7, with a call by two local charities, The Mustard Seed and the Bissell Centre, for winter clothing. As per the story:
“When temperatures drop, the needs of our community begin to rise,” The Mustard Seed managing director Dean Kurpjuweit said in a release Tuesday (Nov. 7).
“Given their circumstances, many of our participants face exposure to the elements. Without warm homes to take shelter in, items like gloves and boots become absolutely essential in protecting community members, and their extremities, from our city’s harsh winter conditions.”
Says the Bissell Centre in the same story:
“Hundreds of people come to us every day looking for help during the winter, most of them without gloves or proper footwear, leaving them susceptible to frostbite and other damaging effects due to over exposure,” Bissell Centre chief programs officer Liza Sunley said.
“It’s not uncommon to see people with missing fingers or toes because of the lack of winter gloves and boots in the inner city.”
The plea for winter clothing and footwear in Edmonton makes me realize that the need could be just as great hear in the Smoky River region, and the Peace Country for that matter.
I urge anyone who can spare their winter clothing and footwear, to donate it local or regional charities.
Grandma’s Den in Falher has a dropoff bin at the side of their building.
There’s also the Salvation Army in Peace River for dropoffs.
And although it is early, this is the time to start thinking and planning for Christmas donations to needy children and families.
Smoky River Family and Community Support Services will be hosting their Christmas Voucher Program again this year. Please call the FCSS office in Falher at (780) 837-2220 for more information.
And I will make my annual plea to the public to provide cat and dog food supplies to In the Woods Animal Rescue, located near Marie Reine.
Once a month, I make a delivery of cat and dog food supplies to this animal shelter, courtesy of an anonymous donor. When I go there, it’s nice to see that other people and organizations are doing the same thing.
But while this animal shelter has a steady supply of cat and dog supplies, the need for donations and volunteer help never ends either. This animal shelter is always overwhelmed with abandoned and neglected animals, and with litters of puppies and kittens.
So, your help to improve the animals’ lives is essential, just as donations of winter clothing and footwear for the needy are.