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LETTER: Help us fight poverty in our community

Although the holiday season is in full swing there will be no bright lights and colourful presents for many in our community, and in the region.
 
There are hundreds of poor children and families in the Kootenay / Boundary area who won’t be going to the grocery store with the cash to enjoy the annual rite of holiday shopping like the most fortunate folks. These families didn’t go to the Bay or Sears with credit cards to buy a lot of expensive new toys and games or gifts for family and friends.
 
The less fortunate went to the food bank for a bag of basic groceries with a few Christmas season treats for their holiday dinners.
 
Hundreds of children and families in the region, and thousands like them across Canada, live below the poverty line and struggle to make ends meet on a small fixed income. Their hardship and suffering is only being made worse by the continual increase in the cost of living on almost everything from gas, healthcare costs, food, electricity – all required for a normal, happy, healthy life.
 
For these people the New Year will not be one of joy – instead they look forward to another hard, cold and bleak year with insufficient income to meet the basic necessities of life.
 
So some local citizens have taken the first steps to address the serious, persistent and pervasive problem of child and family poverty in the region calling for the formation of a non-profit society to tackle four key areas.
 
First, they will help reduce the level and extent of poverty in general; second, they will focus on policies, programs and strategies that would help poor families become independent and self-sufficient as possible; third, they will focus on advocacy and education with regards to issues – poverty, employment, income security, and government spending; and last, the development of the project will try to alleviate the harmful effects of poverty and destitution.
 
Some of the goals will be met through direct or indirect financial and other assistance to families in need.
 
The project is planned to be a grass roots community-based initiative and it is hoped that a large and wide psectrum of area residents, groups, companies will all join together to make the endeavour a success.
 
Help create a real “community Christmas spirit” by joining this project. Citizens are encouraged to call, write, and email their friends, neighbours, clubs, city council, school, church, business and political representatives to ask for their support for the development of this project.
 

For more information: BC Poverty Iinitiative Pilot Project dreamworxz.unltd@live.ca or mail: 7610 – 22 Street, Grand Forks, V0H 1H2. 

Lawrence Antifeav

Grand Forks, B.C.