Without a doubt, holiday season festivities are back to full strength, as craft fairs and all kinds of entertainment activities take place on Salt Spring this month.
Islanders’ talents and creativity are highlighted in both the things they make and the things they do, ensuring no shortage of unique gifts and shared cultural experiences for those able to partake. Islanders are encouraged to spend money on gifts locally, to provide both direct support to our artisans and retailers and to help keep the funds flowing on the island as the dollars continue to (hopefully) be spent here. The Love Local Winter Wander late-night event, which runs this Friday, is a fun way to shop locally.
Numerous local non-profit organizations also send out appeals for donations at this time of year. Registered charities can provide tax receipts for donations received before the end of 2023, reducing the amount of income tax payable, which in effect subsidizes the donation cost. A successful appeal campaign can make a huge difference to what our much-valued non-profits and foundations are able to do in any given year, and donation amounts of any size add up to have big impact. The Circle Education Salt Spring Society, Salt Spring Island Foundation, Island Arts Centre Society, Salt Spring Island Conservancy, Salt Spring Arts and Salt Spring Public Library Association are some of the larger organizations issuing appeals right now.
Then there are the more grassroots efforts focused on helping to alleviate the stresses of poverty on our island at this time of year. Inflation, high housing costs, housing insecurity and lack of stable income are affecting so many families and individuals. The Stocking Stuffers for Seniors initiative is taking place again, as is a Holiday Hampers program described in our letters section this week.
Santa’s Workshop is also accepting donations of new or lightly used toys, books, art supplies, sports equipment or Christmas decorations in its boxes at West of the Moon, Mouat’s Home Hardware or Country Grocer until Dec. 10.
Numerous other groups are working behind the scenes to bolster those who need it most this year. If you have the means to help out, please do so and help make our community stronger through compassion and sharing.