Packed - Naomi Hilman and Crystal Clear showed 51 shoeboxes collected by kcs Association for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.

Packed - Naomi Hilman and Crystal Clear showed 51 shoeboxes collected by kcs Association for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.

We have the opportunity to do so much with our wealth

So many competing interests. So much we can do. Yet where to start.

So many competing interests. So much we can do. Yet where to start.

We know we can do it. We can enhance our community, our country and our earth with our efforts. That’s because we have an innate sense of caring and compassion, an interest which spurs us towards action.

What, you might wonder, are we pondering this week.

We’re thinking about the joy of the season, the crass commercialization that’s taken place surrounding the festive holidays and our ability to make a difference.

We remember stories of simpler times as we’re bombarded by news releases and surveys about the amount of money that’s going to be spent this Christmas season and the source of that money — mainly credit cards.

Then we think of all the volunteers in our community and on our planet who are doing good work because they want to be involved in creating something better.

And we’re daily reminded of those who suffered through flooding, typhoons and other catastrophes this year.

Through our involvement in this great community we see the changing attitudes at schools as students become more involved in supporting their community with affluence they enjoy.

Contributions to Operation Christmas Child, Coins for Kids, the Christmas Bureau, Sylvan Lake Food Bank — all are building an attitude of caring in our future generations of leaders and supporting those less fortunate in our community and abroad.

As adults, we need to ponder the actions of our youngsters and consider whether or not we should also make changes. Share our wealth more readily.

Some of our friends have already made conscious decisions about reducing gift giving and instead contributing to the charities of their choice. That’s certainly a choice worth considering, particularly this Christmas season as we listen to our community’s volunteers and politicians discuss “partnerships” to construct much needed replacement and new facilities.

Last week’s launch of a fundraising campaign aimed at securing $2 million for the new multiplex, a similar campaign underway to replace our aging curling rink, the lighthouse project, active work to secure urgent care treatment for our community … these are just a few of the local projects which will benefit from our contributions, whether in time or cash.

Looking a little further abroad, there are all kinds of opportunities to get involved and do good. Sylvan Lake’s Rotary Club recently raised money for shelter-boxes (www.shelterboxcanada.org) to support recovery efforts in the Philippines as a result of Typhoon Haiyan. Other groups, in our schools and churches, are also supporting emergency efforts in that area and in other parts of the world.

This season, put a little thought into how we can made a difference and bring joy, not just to ourselves and our families, but also to those suffering at a vulnerable time of the year.