By Maggie Hua, Lifestyle Columnist
December is a month for joy, celebrations, and get togethers. December is also a month for giving back to the community, donating to a charity for a good cause, offering an extra long hug to someone special, and helping those in need.
Did you know 1 in 6 households in Nova Scotia are food insecure? Feed Nova Scotia not only addresses food insecurity by supplying emergency food support, but also searching for a permanent solution to hunger and poverty in Nova Scotia. They are raising awareness of the root causes of food insecurity, for example, systematic racism, low wages, inadequate income support, and unaffordable housing. While advocating for sustainable and policy-based solutions, Feed Nova Scotia wants everyone to live a life of dignity and not relying on charitable band-aids to address human rights. To make a difference, you can donate food or money to: https://www. feednovascotia.ca/donate.
As the weather gets cold, people who are in crisis will need a warm place to stay. There are approximately 690 people experiencing homelessness in the municipality, according to the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia, as of September 27, 2022. Shelter Nova Scotia gives people in crisis a place to sleep and support them as they transition to community living. Monetary donations to Shelter Nova Scotia are very much appreciated. You could also donate to the “holiday wish list” and/ or donate “In Honor/Memory of”. If you become a monthly donor, you will make a lasting impact to help achieving a safe and affordable home for those in need. Website to donate: https://www. shelternovascotia.com/contribute
December is a difficult month for people who lost their loved ones and those may not have families or friends around. Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Program has the following helplines available for adults and kids:
Provincial Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-888-429-8167 [toll-free]
Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team: 1-902-429-8167
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 Text CONNECT to 686868
Emergency: 9-1-1 or go to the Emergency Department of the nearest hospital
Talk Suicide Canada Text 45645 | Call 1.833.456.4566
If you have concerns about your safety and well-being, or the safety of others, you can call 211. “Asking for help is never a sign of weakness. It’s one of the bravest things you can do, and it can save your life.” – by Lily Collins.
Finally, remember to check on your neighbors, pick up the phone to call your long-distance friends, stay safe, and have a happy holiday!
Photo by RODNAE Productions: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-man-in-white-shirt-giving-a-drink-to-an-elderly-man-6646989/