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Red Deer Reality Rant #77 - It's That Time of Year

Hello fellow Red Deerians, and happy snowy Monday! Last night the first snowfall of the season began. Snow seems to be a dirty word here in Alberta. However, I always enjoy the first snowfall and truly do not mind winter. Be not afraid, Red Deerians, winter isn’t quite here yet, but there is much that you can do to get ready for it. And much that you can do to help those less fortunate along with your preparations for yourself.

There was a lull around here because of the warm weather. But snow is a quick reminder and motivator to get ready for the coming winter months. Technically, winter doesn’t start until December 21st according to the Farmers Almanac. In my mind’s eye winter begins with the first snow. Because if you wait until December 21st to deal with it, you will be very, very cold and possibly may not survive depending upon which of the items on the winter to-do list that you didn’t complete.

Here in Canada it can get cold fast with temperatures fluctuating 25 degrees or more in a day. I do see people wearing shorts and sandals year round, but I am not entirely sure what is up with that. Except that I believe those people are very fortunate and must not have to spend long hours out in the cold. I also don’t have to spend much time outside, but there are a lot of people who do. Efforts to help homeless and vulnerable people increase with the holiday season, now is a great time to start.

If you haven’t already cleaned out your closet or even if you have, remember to take excess winter wear out to organizations who distribute them to people who need it. Winter wear includes more than just coats, if you have excess or unused clothing such as gloves, mitts, hats and scarves please consider donating them as well. Also, blankets and food items are always needed.

Some organizations that help people who need these supplies are: The Salvation Army, Red Deer Outreach Centre, The Mustard Seed, Hope Mission Red Deer, Safe Harbour Society MATS program, Dress for Success, 49th Street Youth Shelter, and Turning Point Society. If you are reading this and need these supplies yourself, you can contact any of these organizations and they can help you or at least point you to help from someone else.

This year I will be helping The Salvation Army in their kettles program. The Salvation Army is an amazing organization that is nonjudgmental and dedicated to helping local communities. They are truly non profit, and if you help them, it goes where it is most needed. And if you need help, they do not discriminate and do not judge, and they will help you the best they are able. That being said, the organizations mentioned above also do awesome work and help low income, homeless and vulnerable people.

Yes, the first snow is a great reminder of what it is like to live in Canada, and my thoughts go out to those who are struggling. Please take care everyone, and stay healthy and warm.


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