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Dec 20, 2018

Holiday MessIt's that time of year again. Lights, decorations, music, wrapping paper, cards, planning get togethers with family and friends, and a "to do" list that looks (and feels) way too long. It's also the season of volunteers. There are food drives, toy drives, Holiday baskets, carolers visiting seniors' homes, all driven by a recognition that by doing things like that, we can make a difference, and even a little difference counts. No act of kindness or generosity is too small. Those of us facing life altering challenges may find this Season anything but festive. Who wouldn't want to bring some cheer, a warm moment or even just respite?

CPS-ECP is built and supported by volunteers. All of us are Members by choice and as such we are supporting volunteering which makes all of us volunteers.

This is the season of gift-giving. We give gifts to family, friends, charities, and sometimes for business reasons. Any volunteer is giving a gift each and every time they volunteer. It is the most precious gift they have – their time. In fact it is not just their time, it is their discretionary time (I was going to write "free time" but who has that anymore?). But it makes such a difference.

Volunteering is paying back into the community. A friend of mine described volunteering as the rent we pay for the space we occupy on earth. As the Holiday Season morphs into New Year's celebrations, give some thought to volunteering more. We can always use the help.

In early 2019, we are going to launch a new program called Operation Lifejacket. We will collect lifejackets (in good condition) that you don't need anymore. They are the ones that are choking your dockside storage or a locker on your boat. The plan is to send them to Northern Communities where lifejackets are expensive and in short supply. This is to support the Canadian Ranger Program already doing this. We are working out the details with them and the Canadian Safe Boating Council. We will need volunteers to go down to the docks and talk with boaters, explain the program and collect lots of lifejackets to be re-used where they are really needed. Watch for more details early in the New Year.

As I write this, we have made excellent progress on our new IT system. Our goal is to have a reliable, user-friendly system available to use as support for what we do. We are spending time now to find as many bugs as we can before we launch.

However, you spend this Holiday Season, may this year will be a good one. I also hope that 2019 will be a year of Peace, Love and Laughter in your life.

Chuck Beall, AP
Chief Commander