The Salvation Army’s 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign includes a new $5 tap feature for pandemic-friendly donations. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

The Salvation Army’s 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign includes a new $5 tap feature for pandemic-friendly donations. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

EDITORIAL: Alberni Valley steps up in time of need

There are a lot of ways the outside world interprets Port Alberni…

There are a lot of ways the outside world interprets Port Alberni and surrounding environs, not all of them positive (we’re thinking of the reason that spawned the tongue-in-cheek ‘Worst Place to Live’ hashtag a few years ago).

If there is one thing the community should be proud of—and known for—it is the way residents help their neighbours.

It has been an unprecedented year for people in need in the community, as the coronavirus pandemic saw its economy tank like the rest of the country. Just the same, it has been a record-breaking year for the people who have stepped up to help those who needed assistance.

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The COVID-19 response team that has been feeding meals to people every day since March last week surpassed 100,000 meals served.

The Salvation Army kettle campaign brought in a record amount of donations this year, which will stay in the Alberni Valley to help those that need it the most.

The Port Alberni Toy Run was able to raise about the same amount of money it usually does, despite having to switch up its annual event and cancel most of the fun things associated with it, like the dance, trade show and motorcycle games.

The Alberni Valley Lions Club had fewer donations but raised a higher than expected amount of money during its annual auction in the fall.

The Alberni Health Care Auxiliary was able to donate $150,000 raised from the Attic Thrift Shop and hospital gift shop to West Coast General Hospital in December.

Bibi J’s, formerly Pot Luck Ceramics’ profit for non-profit organization, on Friday donated $3,000 to the Alberni Community and Women’s Services (ACAWS) despite only having been open for 18 shopping days.

These are only a few examples of the financial generosity Port Albernians have displayed during the hardships of COVID-19. We have shared and heard of numerous other stories of people helping their fellow citizens through clothing drives, heart campaigns, Christmas tree festivals and more.

These are the kinds of stories we hope the rest of the world reads, because this is the real Port Alberni.

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