By: Peter Yurek

We are getting used to the sticker shocks and can see that the price of everything has gone up — a lot. Inflation is hitting everyone, and naturally low-income households are feeling the pinch even more.

Unfortunately, the added stress of economic pressures often results in increased smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, material deprivation, school dropouts, ‎impaired driving charges and accidents, ER visits, physical and mental health challenges, and homelessness.

If this sounds like a prelude to urge you to donate, it isn’t. Many people are experiencing donor fatigue: loss of interest or ability to donate to good causes. One current reason for donor fatigue is simply budget exhaustion. When you’re spending more money on food, gas, shelter, etc., you simply do not have enough to donate.

My hat’s off to local organizations who work tirelessly to make life better for our community and follow citizens: CCHC, YWCA, Social Services, Police Services, Canadian Mental Health Association, ‎Alzheimer’s Society, Thames Valley Addiction Services.

We all know that, through no fault of our own, we have more challenges than some other towns and cities. The good news is that in St. Thomas/ Elgin, these organizations have a unique and integrated way of uniting the efforts of volunteers and social service agencies. They have  dedicated professionals sharing finite resources and knowledge to address concerns and ‎make good inroads to resolve local issues. ‎

These professionals work in coalitions such as the following:‎

  • Elgin Mental Health & Addictions
  • Poverty Coalition
  • Housing Stability
  • Elgin Ontario Health Team

We, the Downtown businesses, give back because there is more to life than business. We believe in being compassionate – applying one’s strength to help those in need. Because of our local roots, we support the community in which our employees and customers live, work and play.

While donor fatigue is real — I wish it weren’t — we should be proud of our donor freshness: the dedication, energy and resolve of the volunteers to donate their time and talents to grassroots initiatives. For example:

  • Smile for Seniors delivered over 750 small Christmas gifts to people living in long-term care facilities;
  • Christmas Care collected food, toys, and financial donations for 1,600 children and families; and
  • CCHC looked after the healthcare of 4,000 vulnerable people in our community.

Of course, there are many more worthwhile initiatives and indispensable local organizations. Please remember them during the upcoming holiday season.

We should all be #stthomasproud because we’re resourceful and creative enough to weather any storm.