The best of the holiday season is usually associated with
generosity and caring; both especially true in West Shore communities. It’s not just because the West Shore has a strong array of holiday events and celebrations like the fire truck parade, skating with Santa or big retail sales. Rather, it’s because there is an increasing sense of community pride about helping our neighbours and our communities.
Recent statistics have shown that people in the West Shore volunteer more than anywhere else in the province – that’s
remarkable given we are mostly made up of young and very busy families.
We can be proud of that but also of the many charitable activities that take place in the West Shore, as well as its leaders and contributors.
Whether it’s the local food bank, the Salvation Army or the many arts, athletics or environmental groups, the West Shore is alive with a strong community spirit and willingness to serve.
Recently when a young teen was tragically struck down in a vehicular accident, the community rallied to support his struggling family in their grieving. The City of Langford and its fire department have done remarkable things with their relief efforts in Haiti. The Goldstream Hatchery is a massive labour of volunteer love. Metchosin Day is almost entirely volunteer-run and attracts thousands.
The list goes on and on for every municipality and in every instinctive and positive
community response to needs, tragedies, challenges and
I am continuously reminded that this is all about a special kind of West Shore selfless
leadership – whether it’s youth leaders, business leaders or those who lead with their ideas, cash contributions or just their sweat equity – in an amazing range of efforts to help make our
communities better and better.
This is a sign of a community maturing, becoming self-confident and willing to help neighbours and those less fortunate than themselves.
At our chamber every year we receive donations in-kind and cash contributions from over 100 of our member businesses and organizations who do not hesitate when asked, to support a particular event or charitable cause, not to mention countless volunteer hours for those same causes or events including the WestShore Unlimited TV show.
How lucky and blessed we are to be living not only in the most beautiful place imaginable (OK winter could be sunnier) but also in our emerging, vibrant and very alive West Shore.
So this holiday season let’s celebrate those blessings and give thanks for our neighbours and community members and their remarkable contributions to the health of our communities.
Dan Spinner is the CEO of the WestShore Chamber of Commerce.