To the editor,
Philanthropy defined is an action or effort to promote human welfare (Websters). The emphasis is on ‘action’ here as philanthropy isn’t overly successful if it remains solely an idea on paper. Without philanthropy in the world, much good would remain undone.
We have an excellent example of philanthropic goodness in the Helping Hands organization in Thornhill. The tireless, selfless work of Helping Hands, undertaken quietly behind the scenes, has now resulted in the gifting to the region — and not just Thornhill — with some badly needed transportation for seniors and those for which mobility is a challenge. Kudos are in order, to say the least. But here’s the rub — the Kitimat-Stikine regional district can’t work alone and has asked for help from Terrace City Council, for both help with operating costs and to expand the service. It’s just too much to do alone.
It’s a timely request, as City Council is about to have it’s equivalent of Christmas morning. Tax time!! The coffers will be topped up once again and councilors and others will gather round to decide how to spend it and then divvy it up. Projects, departments and infrastructure will all get their shares, and that gang of “senior officials” I’m sure will be waiting alongside the trough too; fingers crossed, nervously waiting for that blessed financial dollop to pad their already chunky salaries and thus saving them from the onerous task of relocating to more prosperous communities, thus leaving Terrace bereft of function. These are heady times! For some anyway.
I note in the synopsis of the items earmarked for budgetary spending on page A5 of The Standard, that there is absolutely no mention of transportation for seniors or those with disabilities. Nothing. This, with a major increase in taxes and the knowledge of council that transportation is a major issue. Even though transportation has been a pressing issue for quite a while now — years it seems — council hasn’t included it.
In yet another article in The Standard there is further discussion of the transportation issue. Seems pretty much the same scenario as many of the other pressing issues in Terrace today unfortunately. The citizenry express their concerns regarding a paucity of improvements and city council is quick to deflect criticism toward the province, citing lack of funding. Anything to avoid considering any solution, it seems, other than one being handed to them.
Society only functions at its best when the needs of its citizenry are met, and far too often generally the needs of seniors and those with disabilities are marginalized. We too often forget the senior generation laid the basement of the society we enjoy. Part of repaying our debt to them and honoring their efforts is by looking after their needs. It’s about respect and compassion. One of the chief characteristics of a humane society is the way it supports its most vulnerable.
Unfortunately, should council demonstrate the same lack of compassion and creativity in problem-solving this transport issue as it has of late for the issues of homelessness and mental health, we won’t be much further ahead. Positive change doesn’t happen by osmosis. It takes action.
Helping Hands has stepped up, now it’s up to you. Or not.
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