I challenge you to ask yourself, do you really know your neighbors? I am willing to bet that most of you will shake your head and say NO. We have become a recluse society due to busy schedules, time restraints and technology. I remember when I was a young child I knew everyone; our parents knew everyone and if we didn’t we sure made a strong attempt to introduce ourselves. We never worried about children out with friends, I may be dating myself but I can remember a time when we didn’t lock our doors at night, unfortunately now that time has passed.
If we take a look around the world this year as in every year and learn so many stories of the power of the human spirit and kindness. I am not sure why but in this world of extreme poverty, hatred and change, people seem to always restore my faith in humanity with their compassion. Sure we hear the stories from around the world but more often than not one spot that seems to get missed is our very own communities.
I am using this year’s pre Christmas address to make mention of my very own community, sure my friends that follow in England, Germany, Australia and the United States may not have ever heard of Clayton Heights in Surrey BC and if you have its because we seem to be the butt of everyone’s jokes but hopefully after this you will know a little more about the wonderful people that live in my community and realize Surrey is a fantastic place to live.
This year our community has been no different than anywhere around the world and has been rocked with many different challenges from theft, fires, drug related crime, homelessness and poverty . We have also been witness to the tragic passing of a young man who’s kindness touched so many people due to a freak accident during a wind storm, through it all the people each and every time surrounded ,supported and rallied to lift its own back up off the mat and on to their feet.
I am so proud of my community and some of the people that have gone to great lengths to help others, most they have never met before. One great example I was able to notice was in the last week alone this community has been able to find and fill no less than 20 Christmas trees for single or struggling parents in an attempt to bring some well needed Christmas cheer to families through just 1 single post on a community Facebook page. A single mom and her child will have a fantastic holiday season, not because of the donations raised but because they feel loved and wanted by their community and so many more stories. Sure on this Facebook page you have your cynics, your comedians and those who are simply oblivious to the challenges of the world around them but when worse comes to worse and someone is down this community has shown that no matter who you are, what color your skin or what background or religion you come from you are made to feel like family. The world needs more of this behavior
As for a Fraser Valley Secret Santa update on the holiday season I am pleased to relay that we have once again started sending out our “Letters from Santa” to those children who want a personalized letter from Santa. Glass block requests have come in again this year with the money once again going to children’s charity. I have also started to collect food to drop off at our local community food bank, if anyone in our community wants to donate food just let me know and we can pick up or feel free to drop off and we can make sure that as many people as possible have a warm meal and full bellies over the holiday season. I encourage my followers where ever you are around the world to take just a few minutes and a couple dollars and use it to drop a food item into a Christmas hamper box in your local grocery store or food bank. We can make a difference.
Getting back to my initial opening statement, I may not know you all by name , by face or by smile but I think I have gotten to know my neighbors by heart. I appreciate and Thank you for the help you have given myself and others. From my Boys and I , we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season