KTW Christmas Cheer Fund: A home-centred campaign continues

This is why groups like Out of the Cold shelter, The Mustard Seed and the Y Women’s Emergency Shelter are so important — and why your donations to them, and to the Kamloops Brain Injury Association, via the KTW Christmas Cheer Fund, are so valuable

According to a January 2019 CBC story, 46 per cent of Canadians are $200 or less away from financial insolvency.

That’s an indicator of just how close many Canadians are to not being able to pay their basic costs of living — keeping up on their credit cards or cellphone bills, keeping nutritious food in their fridge and making rent or mortgage payments.

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It is an indicator of just how many average people are skirting by on the edge of homelessness.

Three of the four charities included in the KTW Christmas Cheer Fund this year work with displaced individuals — Out of the Cold shelter, The Mustard Seed and the Y Women’s Emergency Shelter.

While it may seem obvious why providing beds and shelters for the homeless is vital, many may not be aware of just how close the people around them are to needing those services.

Country Auto Sales
The good people at Country Auto Sales in North Kamloops raised $600 to support the KTW Christmas Cheer Fund, donating $100 from each vehicle sale during a recent weekend event that also featured a free lunch for anyone who dropped by the Eighth Street dealership. In the photo, from left: co-owner Gary Brunet, Steven Dunn, Ryan Brooks, Karen Howarth, Joel Gobeil, Sandra Anthony, Ken Eldridge and co-owner Chris Hood.

Before I started working at KTW in October 2018, I was unemployed for about three years. That meant I had run through my one year of available Employment Insurance benefits and spent two years collecting income assistance. I spent those three years diligently looking for work, but having a career background in the newspaper industry may not be the best feature on a resume in the 21st century.

Thankfully, I never ended up homeless. Income assistance doesn’t provide a lot, but I was able to maintain some freelance work to top up those dollars and my family was in a position to help me out through that time.

Even so, there were some close calls.

Twice during those three years, I found myself asked to leave a rental situation and look for a new place to live. There are landlords who simply won’t rent to an unemployed tenant.

I looked at one suite that would have been perfect for me, right what I could afford, but the owner wasn’t interested in renting to someone on income assistance.

I got lucky and found a place to rent about a week before I needed to be out of my place.

Thankfully, I could afford it, though just barely. After viewing about 20 different rentals, that was the only one that had been offered to me.

I don’t think my story is unique. But I do think it’s something many people don’t want to talk about. People don’t like acknowledging how precarious their situation is. We’re taught to not to admit defeat.

But let’s be honest. An inability to access something as vital and necessary as housing shouldn’t be considered a failing on the part of any individual.

It’s a failing of our culture, of our society.

Having a safe place to call home, a warm place to lay your head, isn’t something that certain privileged people deserve.

That’s why groups like Out of the Cold shelter, The Mustard Seed and the Y Women’s Emergency Shelter are so important — and why your donations to them, and to the Kamloops Brain Injury Association, via the KTW Christmas Cheer Fund, are so valuable.

Christmas Cheer Fund



• BC Old Time Fiddlers’ Association: $100

• Ron and Susan Durant: $100

• In memory of Pat Liddy: $20

• In memory of brothers Andrew and Joe Liddy: $20

• John and Val Kemp: $100

• Darren, Sharlene and Kyle McIlwain: $158

• Marg Clements: $100

• Anonymous: $100

• Anonymous: $20

• Anonymous: $125

• Passion for the Fashion Show: $194.85

• The Posse: $200

• Amy Regen: $100

• Vic and Sally Mowbray: $100

• Jo-Mary Hunter: $200

• Anonymous: $200

• Lois McAlary, in memory of Sarah McAlary: $100

• Evelyn Meyer: $60

• Anonymous: $100

• Donna Sharpe: $50

• In memory of James F. Maloney: $500

• Ladies of the Lake: $325

• Music Lovers: $72.35

• Brenda and Ken Christian: $100

• Tim Shoults, Tara Holmes and Ken Christian: $20

• St. John Vianney Bridge Club: $225

• In memory of Sam and Teresa Bruno: $100

• Anonymous: $25

• Anonymous: $500

• Rick Bennett: $50

• Tom and Sharon Moore: $100

• Staff at Country Auto Sales: $600

• Wendy and Kim, in memory of Peter Basson and John Healy: $25

• Sharon Cooley, in memory of Ruth Cooley: $50

• Gordon Harris and Gwen Watson: $400

• Don Whyte and Gail Cameron: $150

• Anonymous, in memory of Peter Howard: $100

• Lynne Totten: $100

• In memory of Douglas: $150

• Cal and Pat Moulton: $100

• Colleen Stainton: $200

• Anonymous: $100

• In memory of Wilf Schmidt: $200

• Jerry Neigel: $300

• Anonymous: $250

• Ken and Marylyne House: $50

• Cathy and Phil Holman: $100

• McGowan Park elementary Grade 5 Class: $175

• Shirlee Ezowski: $100

• Anonymous: $100

• Lisa Michie: $100

• A. and G. Morrissette: $200

• Anonymous: $100

• Anonymous: $50

• Ms. Bea Smith: $25

• Bingley, Nek and Smidge: $75

• Anonymous: $100

• Kamloops Seniors Village: $250

• Teresa and Colman Byrne: $200

• Libby Denbigh, in memory of David & Rachel: $50

• Anonymous: $40

• Anne Wade: $75

• KTW fundraising dinner at the Commodore: $1,251.50

• Anonymous: $50

• Sandra Never, in memory of mom Pat Swaine: $50

• Anonymous: $20

• Mavis Paravantes, in memory of Teddy: $25

• Wesley, Vanessa and Christina Mah: $150

• Wally and Wendy Reddeman: $100

• Gladys and Ken Klepachek: $50

• Anonymous: $50

• Anonymous: $250

• Muriel Botham: $100

• Richard and Terry Taylor: $100

• Kenneth and Diana Sharman: $200

• Judy and Tom Edwards: $50

• Gerald and Wendy Patrick: $100

• Ed and Dianne Barker: $100

• Jane and Buzz Osterloh: $100

• J. Manville: $50

• Len Knight: $25

• Chris and Angela de Haan: $300

• Anonymous: $100

• In memory of mom and dad, Ole and Minnie Cook: $200

• In memory of Nail Dorais: $200

• Anonymous: $300

• Bill and Carol Greenhalgh: $400

• Roy Simmonds: $50

• Margaret Sandulak: $100

TOTAL TO DATE: $13,101.70

© Kamloops This Week



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