I went to see Jind Singh today at the Hobbit event he held for Foodhammer. The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings group is radpidly growing, which is quite exciting given that the Specialist Games division will continue to support this game.
Many of the people there today I had not met before, and Jind asked me to tell them what brought me to start this event. I explained that in early 2011 I was originally looking to fill a gap in the gaming calendar, and came to the conclusion that the entry money could be used for so much more than buying tons of prizes for the entrants. I explained that I had noticed there were children in my son's grade 1 class that were from families that used the food bank on a regular basis. I got a lot of perspective there, and realised that we as wargamers and hobbyists are so very LUCKY to be able to afford this bloody expensive hobby. We should give back, and I am grateful to all of you who do. Those who donate prizes, be you industry or retail, or those of you who are donating from your private collections out of the good in your hearts (thank you Erica Lam for your kind donation today).
Langley food bank is one of the smaller food banks and doesn't actually actively solicit donations - I was amazed when I read that small, yet hugely important point. Yet they help people who live across a huge part of the BC lower mainland.
My good wife Laura showed me this news article this evening and I'm floored. Over 30,000 children in our province are food bank users. 30,000 children in a part of the world that is supposed to be so civilised and progressive. Don't forget that MANY of their parents and caregivers are NOT the kind of people who just ride the free ride on welfare and slack off. Most of them are people who despite working their fingers to the bone full time are paid below the living wage level and have to deal with ridiculous housing costs, often choosing between keeping the roof over their heads or putting food in the fridge.
Often as individuals we can think in an insular manner, only concerned with what is inches from the ends of our noses and five minutes in our immediate future but we are capable of so much more. Yes, we are all individuals. But we are so much more. You have all shown me this. I'm grateful for the recognition that my colleagues and I get for this fundraiser but it is YOU that make Foodhammer what it is. We might not be making massive changes, but what we do affects the lives of people who we may never meet, in a positive manner.
I'm proud of you all.