Will you give where you live?

by Monty Laskin, Caledon Community Services

There is a saying we often hear today: ‘Think globally, act locally.’ It invites people to look beyond their backyard. It examines issues that touch all humanity and then has us looking for opportunities to make a dent in the large global issues right here at home.

Can we improve the world by investing in the well-being of children? A donation to a local organization that provides hockey equipment to kids is a good move. If you believe the threat of climate change poses a real danger to your children, planting a tree on your property makes good sense.

Pretty straightforward stuff.

“Think globally, act locally” encourages people to consider the welfare of our entire planet and all of its inhabitants and then target their decisions and actions on the community they call home. For example, in Caledon, long before environmental laws started to appear, people and groups were coming together to protect the beautiful hills and trails. This grassroots work is respected and admired. It achieves good things by local people right here in their own backyard.

What’s on the world’s agenda this moment? There is lots with which to be concerned. How about hunger, poverty and the well-being of children? All three are of immense global importance and they touch millions upon millions of people.

But seriously, do any of these issues deserve our attention here in Caledon? Ours is a community of plenty, the greenest in the Province, blessed with abundant treasures. Fact or fiction:

1. No one in Caledon goes hungry.

2. Caledon is a wealthy community.

3. Caledon children have everything they want and need.

Might it be true that we respond globally to these issues but fail to see them right here in our backyard?

Facts trump fiction here. There were 2,972 visits made to the Exchange’s “Carbone Food Support Pantry” in 2016. 170,000+ lbs. of food was distributed to 165 families in Caledon. 600 lbs. of fresh produce was grown by volunteers for the Exchange to distribute to Caledon families, not to mention all the donations of fresh local produce from our generous local farmers.

And on matters of poverty, facts trump fiction once again: 165 families in Caledon live well below the poverty line. 1,202 visits were made last year to CCS’ Counselling & Care Coordinators. And 5,473 visits were made to our Employment Resource Center to address people’s search for meaningful and sustainable employment.

How are our children doing? Again, facts trump fiction. Many kids would be unable to enjoy the things we all want for our children were it not for your support: In 2016, 308 Caledon children relied on CCS’ programs for daily living resources and in some cases, medical and dental assistance help with home heating. That exceeds the population of some entire schools here in Caledon. 24 out-of-school and out-of-work youth received employment training skills and education, a real shot at a better life. And 77 children were enrolled in recreational summer activities and summer camps.

There is a direct line between local generosity, CCS support services and the health and well-being of individuals and families in Caledon.

When thinking globally and acting locally during this holiday season, the annual Caledon Santa Fund gives you an opportunity to have an enormous local impact on your neighbors during the holidays and throughout the year ahead.

Very soon, hundreds of registered families will be invited to the Exchange to do some Christmas shopping. Your donations make that happen. Your generosity allows CCS to extend support to Caledon residents over the holidays and throughout the year.

Thinking globally and acting locally has a profound impact on the lives of your neighbors every single day of the year.

On-line Santa Fund donations that provide for the needs of children and families can be made until January 31, 2017. You can fill Santa’s sleigh for the many in need in our community. It’s the fiction that keeps them hidden. And it’s the facts that shatter the myths and draw out the very best in our community.

Happy holidays to you and yours. Joy and peace over the holiday season, all good things in the year ahead.

To make a difference through this year’s Santa Fund, contact Nicole Dumanski 905-584-2300 ext. 236 or donate on-line at http://ccs4u.org/santa-fund/

Monty Laskin, CEO, Caledon Community Services


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