Editorial: We should be able to help everyone

Help and charity should be welcomed, no matter where it is aimed

In July, Qualicum Beach resident Jada Morgan was struck with an intense desire to “help the children of Lebanon” and set off on a three-month trip to the Middle Eastern country.

The Parksville-Qualicum Beach News did a story about her efforts looking for help bring a Syrian family of seven to Vancouver Island.

Morgan, a retired social worker, rented an apartment in Beirut and quickly became close to neighbouring children and their families, teaching them numbers, buying them toys and even starting night classes. One family in particular caught her attention, Syrian refugees whose home was detroyed. She said the children in the family are between the ages of four and 15 and all are generous and hard-working people. She wants them to have a new life in Canada.

Interestingly, the reaction to the story was overwhelmingly slanted in one direction — we should be helping ‘our own’ first.

A sample of the reaction online:

“Charity starts at home. Help our homeless first.”

“We should be helping our own before bringing more people into Canada that taxpayers are ultimately responsible for.”

“It’s a very nice thought, but there are so many Canadian families that need help first! Our own people are suffering but we wanna bring more people in from other places to help them? If we can’t help the people who already live here how can we be expected to help outsiders?”

“Help some of the people that visit the soup kitchen in Parksville every week.”

And on and on.

Of course, the internet being the cesspool that it can be, with anonymous bravado ruling the roost, there were far worse comments.

The obvious question: Who says we can’t help as many people as possible?

One woman in Qualicum Beach who chooses to volunteer her time and effort helping Syrian refugees isn’t hampering the efforts back home.

We love the spirit behind the pleas to help those close to home. We agree the less-fortunate around here need more help.

But if you’re going to complain mightily about bringing in a family, we sure hope you’re out there doing what you can for everyone locally that requires assistance.

How many of those commenting are volunteers themselves? Probably more than a few, which is heartening. We sincerely applaud their effotts to better our community.

But for those blowhards who want to moan about how someone chooses to spend their time helping others – and aren’t doing anything themselves – your complaints ring hollow. Might we suggest a visit to this website or a call to the Oceanside Volunteer Association at 250-594-2637.

If you want to make a difference, it does indeed start at home.

With you.

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