The Christmas Season is the most wonderful time of the year. People come together in friendship to enjoy their time together, giving pause to think about the importance of friends in a world too often preoccupied with career advancement and materialism.
For a certain segment of the population, Christmas is a lonely time. Void of friends or family, this segment goes about their daily lives isolated from the human interaction we all crave.
And then we need to think about society’s most vulnerable, the homeless and and the poor. The homeless struggle daily to survive the cold, harsh, Montreal winter. The poor struggle to pay their bills and to give a little extra to their families.
For forty eight years the United Irish Societies of Montreal has held a Christmas Draw to benefit families in need at a time of the year when they are at their most vulnerable. A project driven entirely by that organization’s membership, today eight thousand tickets are sold at $1 each with two thousand dollars returned in prizes. The proceeds of the draw feeds approximately sixty families, mainly in the South West, Verdun, and LaSalle Boroughs of Montreal
In a couple of weeks, UIS members and friends will gather to assemble and deliver their sixty baskets in under four hours. Their benevolent activities at a key time of the year makes a difference in a few lives.
So as we gather with friends over the holidays, remember those who are lonely or vulnerable. Go the extra mile. Volunteer at a food bank or church. Speak to someone you know doesn’t have anyone to talk to. Donate non perishable food to your local food bank. Make a difference.
Make this time of the year a most wonderful one. And, please, if you plan on drinking please don’t drive.