Looking back at 2018, did life get better or worse?
It is difficult to determine, depending on which view one takes.
In many ways, things were going great. The economy boomed. Unemployment was low and plenty of businesses across B.C. were looking for help.
It was also a year that saw us transfixed with homelessness, with the ongoing opioid overdose crisis (page A15 of today’s paper has a story that shows the crisis is nowhere near ending), with the housing crisis and with trade wars with the United States.
In the wider world, storms and fires warned us that global warming is expected to keep getting worse and continue to impact us directly.
But there were also hopeful changes in 2018.
The provincial government unveiled a plan to create a green economy and a bold goal to phase out internal combustion cars over the coming decades.
In Kamloops, affordable and supportive housing was the theme of the year, with numerous buildings popping up to help those on the street get a step up and into homes. Hundreds of people now (or soon will) have roofs over the heads, beds under their bodies and, most crucially, services all around them.
In Kamloops, generosity did not take a break, as can be seen in our own KTW Christmas Cheer Fund, which, as of this writing, has broken the $55,000 mark. With donations being accepted through the end of the month, we are hoping to pad that total so we can better help the five charities that are part of this year’s fund (see page A3 for all the details).
Generosity and compassion were also on display at the CP Christmas Train event in the middle of December, where a record amount of food and cash donations were received by the Kamloops Food Bank, and through the various endeavours spearheaded by Love Hard Kamloops.
The next year may be better or worse, but the need of others will always be there.
Have a happy, healthy — and helpful — 2019.