By Paula Greene

In December we can estimate that Canadians will buy $460.8 million worth of candy and that 7.1 million Poinsettias will be produced in greenhouses and we will consume 5.3 million litres of eggnog. But December is also the month when we think of others when we reach out to share our good fortune and want to contribute to the causes we care about. Charitable giving increases dramatically in the run up to Christmas, in-fact nearly a third of all donations are made in December and in 2013 this amounted to $8.6 billion dollars. (Statistics provided by Stats Canada 2013/2014)

There are many great causes in Victoria that welcome you support and help not just a Christmas but all year around. Getting involved in your community through donating or volunteering has been shown to increase a sense of connection, belonging and satisfaction for volunteers and donors.

At James Bay Community Project (JBCP) we aim to provide connection in the community and to serve those who are most isolated in the community, living alone on a low income with few supports. We provide programs and services for children and families, youth, seniors and adults with disabilities. This Holiday season we have two charitable giving programs that we need your help with and to invite you to become involved with.

Every year we provide Christmas Hampers the aim is to make Christmas less stressful, more abundant and enjoyable. To know that someone is thinking of you at Christmas or to not have to worry about finding the money for a present for your child, knowing there will be food on the table can have a profound impact. We are seeking donations of new items, toys, clothing or gift cards to stores in Victoria so we can fill our hampers. We particularly need items for children and youth (please see our advertisement in this paper for a suggestion list). Donations can be dropped off at James Bay Community Centre reception located at 547 Michigan St. Or for more information contact Lisa Gleinzer: ext. 308.

The second campaign that we are involved in is a Victoria wide initiative called ‘The Gift of Good Food’.

Imagine making a donation that gives all year around. That’s what the Gift of Good Food does. With 11 partner organisations it aims to raise $100,000 to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to 200 families across Victoria every two weeks for a year. This is JBCP’s second year being involved and we love this project. When you donate to the Gift of Good Food you can designate JBCP as the recipient of your donation and families in our community will receive a fresh food box. $500 will feed one family for a year, $250.00 for 6 months and so on. The Gift of Good Food focuses on supporting families who are in transition, have low incomes, single parents or families who need support. Families are chosen based on their need by support workers who have pre-existing relationships with these families at all the partner organizations. 

You can donate at or contact Paula Greene: ext. 309.

From everyone at James Bay Community Project we wish the community a happy, peaceful and joyful holiday season.