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Christmas in July

Christmas really is the time of giving, and it brings out the best in all of us, but what about the rest of the year?

As many turn their minds to the warm weather, naps on the beach and beers on the dock, the pantries of our local not-for-profit organizations and food banks are diminishing and sadly, poverty doesn’t take a holiday.

The winter months may offer a stark awakening to the fact that people are living on the streets of our city, but those people and others, are still in need of our support even as the earth tilts and the warmer weather arrives.

The Back Door Mission for the Relief of Poverty is only one of those organizations and as they undertake a campaign to fill their pantry and perhaps expand their services, it can teach Oshawa residents a valuable lesson.

Being kind cannot come and go with the seasons.

Without a solution to the housing issues plaguing the lower income population of Oshawa and Durham Region, it’s a sad reality that the services of organizations like the Back Door Mission are only going to become more in need.

In 2015, the Region of Durham reported that 25 per cent of Durham residents spent over 30 per cent of their annual income on housing and with the costs of housing rising, this number will only increase.

The rental market is no better as it was recently reported that Oshawa is now among the top 10 most expensive places to rent in Canada.

It’s time for everyone to start thinking about our neighbours year-round and right before heading away for vacation is the perfect time.

Stop, take a look in your pantry and instead of letting those items sit for another week, perhaps take them out and give them to someone who can benefit from them almost immediately.

Don MacLeod, the president at the Back Door Mission said it best — in a situation like this, every little bit helps.