It is a busy time of year as we put the final touches on 2015 and get ready for 2016. It is also a social time and a family time, depending on how you choose to celebrate.
For those of us who have most of what we need it can also be a time to think about those who don't.
A few years back I was invited to a party that was thrown at the Raymond James office where my business partner at the time and I parked our wealth management practice.
They called it the "Fishbowl Holiday Angels" party (because this particular group in the organization parked themselves in an all glass office space, where passersby could see all that they got themselves up to!)
But the premise of the party was to not only share some holiday "spirits", but to also drop a donation into their collection to the Holiday Angels Program, which would sponsor a family (or number of families) that were in need of some fairly basic items that those of us in better circumstances might take for granted.
I liked this idea, mostly because, as I discovered, all the donations (of food, clothes, etc.) went directly to the families in need.
The organization who sponsor's the Holiday Angels Program, New Circles: http://newcircles.ca/about-us/ would identify and select various families in need and match them with a donor family (and extended family in our case).
Not thinking much more about it, other than the good feeling of helping out, I received an email from Sandra and Phil Kwon (who spearheaded the "Fishbowl" effort) on or about December 23 of that year that contained thank-you letters filled with so much gratitude that I was reduced to tears.
These families, parents and children were overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers and that was one of their first impressions of the people of Canada.
It just completely made my Christmas (which is what we celebrate in my family, although we are not necessarily religious folks, but there is lots to be said for keeping certain traditions). It was just a simple act of kindness that was so incredibly well appreciated.
Simple acts of kindness and the generosity of the human spirit.
That is what I love about this time of year.
So thanks to Sandra and Phil and the "Fishbowl" for introducing me to New Circles and the Holiday Angels Program. Each and every year we just want to give more because it is such a great feeling to be able to participate.
High Rock is a contributor to New Circles and we encourage those who are willing and capable to give, to assist those who are less fortunate.
(New Circles has no government nor United Way funding. They rely on the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations to keep them going. They are partnering with Lifeline Syria and they will be the “go to” agency for Syrian refugees (who settle in Toronto) for clothing.
Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist