Posted by: crpa | January 27, 2007

Pay it forward and help our local shelters

ePost: poet Pat Carlson shelter@fundy.net. For those who may not have seen it, an interesting letter in today’s Daily Gleaner, Fredericton, NB Canada Jan 2007.

Pay it forward and help our local shelters

Maybe it got lost amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas, thrown out amongst a pile of sales flyers, or maybe it was part of a to-do list that just has not been done.

Whatever the reason, I was taken aback to learn that a recent mailout on behalf of the homeless shelter in Fredericton resulted in a pathetic response.

There were approximately 50,000 letters sent, with a response of 470. Now I am not a math whiz, but even I can see what a low percentage that represents.

With cutbacks looming to our shelters, they have deservedly received a fair bit of media attention about their dilemma.

Now publicity is nice, and hopefully it not only draws attention to the homeless, but actually results in action.

For what is needed most of all is dollars – yours and mine.

To a lot of people, this is just one of a myriad of worthwhile causes, but one that does not affect them.

To this I respond that many of us live from paycheque to paycheque, constantly add to our debt loads and walk a thin line in our existence. Who would help if we crossed that line?

Life can turn quickly, and so can your luck. Many people have had to walk the well-worn path to a shelter. They are there to help you, so let’s help them.

So here is what I propose. I am sure most of you have seen or heard of the movie called Pay It Forward, which is based on strangers helping strangers with good deeds. Why can’t we do the same here in Fredericton ?

I will get it started.

This Saturday I am attending a wrap party for an independent feature film shot here in Fredericton .

The cast and crew, of which I am part of, consists mostly of university students or recent graduates. They have agreed to donate any profits towards the shelters.

If this group is willing to do this, why don’t others follow suit? Let individuals and groups do and donate what they can. Just imagine if each of those 50,000 letters donated $1 each. What a helping hand we could have extended!

When I hear negative things being said about the homeless, it brings to mind an old song: “For those of you who sit in judgment never walked the streets of Fredericton .”

Jim Lavoie

Douglas , N.B.


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