Community Papers

Mental Health Matters: In need of a gift tip?

We cannot begin to know what you and your family go through to get the best gift for each person on the list, but we have a general idea — as we go through it, too.

It seems the older we get, the more out of touch we are with the latest trends, fashions and gadgets.

No wonder gift cards are becoming so popular!

Everywhere you turn at Christmas, you see a charitable organization reminding you to pay forward some of your good fortune for others who are not so well off, be it from poverty, disability, misfortune, illness or other personal setback.

There are so many great causes, so many amazing organizations, that try to help those falling through the cracks, especially at this time of the year.

The need is so great, the causes are all so just — how do I decide?  Who should I give a little gratitude to at this time of the year?

The staff team at the CMHA have our own list of favourite charities that we contribute to and, no, it is not the CMHA!

Of course we are our favourite charity, but we already give our hearts and minds and soul.

We reserve our cash for other great causes.

Each year, we like to give a little to cancer research through Run for the Cure and other events. Our staff likes to sponsor a few families for Christmas Amalgamated.

We always support Basics for Babies and the food drives of the Kamloops Food Bank.

But, look at all the great organizations and causes that we have not even touched yet.

Ah, but Virginia there is a Santa Claus — or at least a way to touch more lives than the ones to which we already contribute.

What if we want to support ASK Wellness, and Elizabeth Fry, and Family Tree, and the Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Seniors’ Outreach Society, and the Boys and Girls Club — and so many other good causes, too?

In our organization, we are selfishly looking ahead to a lower workload, with fewer people with mental illness, fewer homeless, fewer people with addictions, less disability and less impact from poverty,  illiteracy and disease.

You see, we choose to invest the largest part of our charitable donations in preventing a lot of the woes our own organization — and all those other great societies — are working so diligently to cope with.

We use the payroll-deduction method for our employees to give to the United Way.

The United Way does more than fund organizations like ours and those listed previously.

The United Way is directly involved in development work that will see stronger and more effective organizations, and in work that promotes early intervention and prevention of longer-term issues, such as one of our favourite programs, Success by Six.

Yes, there are many great causes and we all drop some cash in the Salvation Army kettle and give a little to an organization that has touched us or someone in our family.

But, please remember the issues a person, a family or a community face cannot be resolved one person at a time.

It takes a movement to prevent or end some of our worst social ills.

That is why CMHA employees donated thousands of dollars through payroll deductions to the United Way last year.

We know Kamloops residents are generous and we are merely following your example.

Help us make a stronger, healthier community with your contribution to the United Way.

When you wrap up and give someone a sweater, it will warm their body.

When you wrap up a little love in cash for United Way, you warm the soul — yours and someone else you may never meet.

Or, perhaps the soul you warm may be your neighbour’s because  chances are, all of us will use a service supported by the United Way at some point in our lifetime.

We thank all of you who have written to us at — especially those sharing your fondest Christmas stories.

Maybe you will be seeing another one here soon!



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