Wednesday, 24. December 2008
Christmas Spirit

the extent of Christmas junk at our house

A family member of one of our soldiers killed in Afghanistan has made a substantial personal investment to create and market a calendar commemorating Canadians who have died over there. The calendars can be seen and ordered by going to this website. I am not personally acquainted with anyone serving in the Canadian Armed Forces right now, but there is a young lad whose dad comes from Margo and whose mom works at the Co-op hardware store in Wadena. I often ask about him when I go in there, and she tells me she doesn't worry about him, or tries not to; that he was looking forward to going to Afghanistan. If she manages not to lie awake nights, I'm glad. I hold my breath, dread hearing his name when that of another dead soldier is announced over the radio, but I don't say that to her.

The other day our local CBC radio station aired an interview with a woman who is leaving Saskatoon because she can't afford a place to live there. She has an infant and a teenager and has been having such a rough time for so long that she feels she has no choice but to farm her oldest son out to relatives and take her baby with her to Vernon, where her parents and brother live, so that at least when she is desperate for food or shelter someone may help her, because she's been shit out of luck when it came to accessing services in Saskatoon. She said that just behind the swanky new Husky station north of the city, on the Yellowhead highway, there is a tent city and that families are living there. In this cold! With children? That's terrible, and I wanted to do something. But what? I wrote the radio station and asked them to follow up with actions that concerned listeners could take, and apparently they did, though I missed the show the next day. However I received an email detailing several options, one of which is to make a donation to the SOS Overnight Shelter Group. That's what I'm going to do. Its mailing address is 131 Wall St., Saskatoon, SK S7K 2C2. If you're sitting in a warm, cosy house and have presents under your tree, your bills paid, and money in the bank, please consider sending a cheque to help these people out. Even $10 will make a difference; it adds up.

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