As Christmas approaches, there is much to be thankful for here in Langley.
While there is no shortage of issues facing the community, from poverty and homelessness to crowded schools and public safety issues on the streets, most people in this community have a place to sleep each night. The few who don’t have services available to them that many other communities, such as Abbotsford or Maple Ridge, lack.
Those who are without food can call on the Food Bank or several other organizations. The Gateway of Hope offers meals, free of charge, on a daily basis to anyone who drops by.
Many churches and service clubs do Christmas hamper programs, and some offer services all year round, such as St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic church, which not only serves up a Christmas dinner for those who are alone on Dec. 25, but has a weekly soup kitchen every Tuesday.
When something bad happens, whether it is a beating on the streets or the loss of farm animals in a tragic barn fire, people rally around to help. The Times has seen this so often it has almost become routine, yet the newspaper never tires of reporting on the good deeds, great and small, that take place here so often.
When there is a more permanent need for facilities, such as Gateway of Hope, the community rallies round. It has done so many times in the past and will do so in the future.
Businesses here are very generous, with donations for innumerable silent auctions and all sorts of causes. Business people often lend a hand at such events as well.
Even those who do not have a great deal often insist on giving back to help others — whether it is putting some coins in the Salvation Army’s Christmas kettles or volunteering at the Langley Christmas Bureau, which never leaves anyone behind.
Many Langley individuals also support causes in other parts of the world that do not have as many built-in advantages as this area does. They support people and charities in Africa, Asia and many parts of Central and South America. They pack containers with food, supplies, clothing, bicycles and medicine. They set up charities and foundations and are blessed by the generous response from fellow residents.
There is a spirit of generosity in Langley that Ebenezer Scooge (after he was visited by the three Christmas ghosts) would be quick to endorse. Many people here believe in giving — and it all adds up to a generous and complete community which it is a pleasure to be part of.