Thursday, December 21, 2006

Of Line ups and seasons of good cheer

Driving down Second avenue yesterday morning I saw one of those legendary line ups, something akin to what you would see at a Boxing Day clear out, blow out sale. It stretched from the old Tony’s Family Shoes location down Second Avenue and up the sidewalk at Subway towards Shoppers Drug mart.

There were no sales though, no deals on iPods, X boxes or sporting goods. Just some essentials for families in need at a time of the year when we tend to think of ourselves the most.

The Salvation Army was distributing their Christmas hampers from the old Tony’s store yesterday and a drive by would leave you with an image from the depression rather than the rich buoyant economy that we are told British Columbia is currently enjoying.

Prince Rupert still awaits that boom, better times they say are on the way in the near future, but watching that line snake around the block yesterday you’d be more concerned about the now, rather than the days to come.

There’s some serious hurt in this town these days, contrary to some of the caustic remarks on the local bulletin board, there are many people in need who are doing without. Sure, there are probably people, possibly many, that are abusing the system which is wrong. But there are many, many more that are struggling not only just to make ends meet, but to exist at all. It’s something that seems to get missed by folks at times.

Yesterday was a graphic example of the scope of the problem here. Perhaps it should have been mandatory for our elected officials of all levels to have been on hand yesterday to help out with the baskets, it might have put some faces to the numbers that seem to grow, yet also seem get ignored.

You have to hope that things turn around here soon and that the economy rebounds enough to change the fortunes of those in the most need. For today though hope probably isn’t enough, something a little more concrete is required.

I made a second donation to the Salvation Army yesterday and dropped off some food as well. While the hampers have been handed out, no doubt there is still a need for food, clothing and of course cash to help provide meals. Sometimes the need is there and we have to dig a little deeper, this year seems to be one of those years.

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