CHRISTMAS is almost here. For many, right now this means a flurry of last-minute shopping, popping up the final decorations, sitting down and wrapping presents.
For others, it is about the build-up to the major services of the year at churches around The Bahamas.
But for some, Christmas is as much about survival to the next meal as any other day in the year.
Money needed for bills cannot be spared for presents. Shoes long worn cannot be replaced. And stomachs may go empty with no way to pay for dinner.
In last week’s Tribune, columnist Diane Phillips told the touching story of brothers Lorenzo and Devon Knowles, who came to Nassau from Long Island 15 years ago.
The pair can often be seen walking to wherever they are able to find work. Side by side, they look after one another in a world that does not always look after them.
They would do odd jobs here, while walking ten miles a day to get to work.
In their work bags, they each carry a Bible. Perhaps sometimes a prayer is all they have.
And yet, thanks to Diane’s column, the people of The Bahamas have risen to the occasion.
Offers of help have been pouring in. Food. Clothes. Money. The offer of work.
It is a true blessing – but now they have lost the roof over their heads after the house was sold by the owner.
What next for the brothers? Well, we hope that the offers of support keep coming for two men who just need that little extra helping hand in life.
The sad thing is that they are not alone. On the front page of today’s Tribune, we report on the crowds turning out to receive hot meals distributed by United Faith Ministries International.
It is wonderful of course that the group has offered such help. It is terrible that so many are in need of it.
In this Christmas season, perhaps more keenly than at other times of the year, it is important to reflect on how we can help those in need.
As we consider the birth of Jesus himself, we remember how his parents Mary and Joseph were turned away from the inn when they tried to find somewhere to stay. And yet, they were given a humble space in a stable.
Sometimes the help does not need to be everything. Sometimes it just needs to be enough.
In this season, for those of us fortunate enough to be able to wrap gifts for others, let us also remember to offer the gift of charity.
A number of charities have told The Tribune that donations are down in this Christmas season.
So look out for that ringing bell at the store. Keep an eye for fundraising drives at your church. Perhaps take a box of food to organisations that offer support.
Spare a little. It could mean a lot.
The Tribune wishes a good Christmas to all its readers and advertisers.
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