Sunday, 16 November 2014

Saving Waste to the Benefit those In Need

I've said it many times; thought it many more times, and must be constantly vigilant of my own actions in an effort not to do it myself. . . . throwing perfectly good items out when there is someone else who would be grateful for it.  We just celebrated our veterans but did you know homeless veterans is a significant problem in our country? 

In  Red Deer alone, there are almost 300 people who are homeless; the community is working hard to find solutions.

Here are a few ideas that each one of us can put into practice:

  • We throw away more perfectly good food than one can possibly imagine. Perhaps this is one way of sharing with those less fortunate.

  • Here's a list of items that are often on the 'needed' lists of shelters in your community:  toiletries such as soap, deodorant, nail clippers, toothbrushes/toothpaste; baby items, including diapers, creams, bottles; food items, including milk fresh meat, produce and frozen vegetables; gently used clothing, particularly winter items such as toques, mitts, scarves, socks and coats; as well as blankets, sleeping bags and sheets.

  • I'm sure I'm not the first to suggest that our children have more material possessions than any other generation to date.  Are there toys filling up their closets and bins that are no longer played with?  Clean them up and donate them to an organization that will rehome them with a less fortunate child.
  • Share your good fortunate with others.  For the past several years, rather than exchanging gifts with my BFF we choose a local charity to give to.  When our family gets together for it's annual Boxing Day Bash, we ask for contributions.  Last year, it was the local Food Bank who needed cold hard cash to purchase those items that just weren't being donated.  This year we are adopting a family.
  • We all like to waste our time but do we need to waste so darn much of it? We have many in our community who do quite well on their own but still need a bit of help now and again. Assisting with yard maintenance such as snow shovelling in winter or lawn cutting in summer is needed by many of our communities vulnerable seniors.  Sometimes all that is really desired is a visit and perhaps a home made treat.

  • My mother had many allergies and her body often built up an intolerance for her medications.  We found a resource in her family practitioner who would pass them along to other care agencies to dispense in countries whose regulations were not as stringent and the need was great.  Many of us have OTC and prescription drugs that we no longer use.  Even slightly outdated prescription drugs can often be taken to your local medical clinic, to be shared with those less fortunate.