In My Opinion: Finding gratitude in the gifts of community

In 1994, the Beach Metro News goes green and is printed on recycled paper. With the fresh papers: Joan Latimer, Dianne Marquardt, Michele McLean, Brenda Dow and Sheila Blinoff. The Beach Metro News is sustained with the help of longstanding volunteers and active readers from the community. PHOTO: Beach Metro News Archive

Thanks to everyone who shared their stories for this year’s Winter Writing Contest. It is always a treat to see the variety of entries and be reminded that there are many talented wordsmiths right here in our neighbourhood.

This year’s entries were particularly special to read because they focused on gifts – personal stories that expressed gratitude for the big things and the small things, for material items that turned out to mean so much more, and for life and neighbours.

One entrant, Barb Phillips, wrote an essay on the value of community and how it shifts over a lifetime. “Any stage of life is enriched when a person has the gift of connection to a community of people,” writes Phillips. She titled her essay “The Powerful Gift of Community” and we couldn’t agree with her thesis more.

This sensibility speaks to us here at Beach Metro because connecting the community has been at the heart of what we do since we first came together in 1972.

As always, we are only as strong as our readership and experience shows us we are stronger when the community gets involved. You can help us by highlighting stories you think we are missing and issues that get overlooked and go unnoticed. Send us a note, comment on our website or social media, give us a call, drop by the office – we want this paper to be filled with your story ideas, photos, suggestions and words.

You’re already doing a great job. The thoughtful comments on last issue’s story about a push for more streamlined Kingston Road transit should be printed and submitted to city staff who are studying the issue. The submissions for our new “Beach Photos” series have been illuminating and of great quality – keep them coming! And, as always, a number of the stories in this issue started with an email or a phone call from one of you (we will respect those readers’ privacy, but you know who you are and we are thankful).

There are a number of opportunities for you to get involved in a future issue, on top of traditional avenues. Our new environment columnist Katie Fullerton wrote in the Feb. 6 issue that she wants to hear about your favourite ways to pitch the plastic. And she’s always keen to include local suggestions for reducing your environmental footprint, so feel free to send her a note. As Design and Style columnist Christine Roberts writes in this issue, she’d love to help you with any design questions or problems. Send her your photos and you may be featured in a future column. And election season is coming up, if it isn’t here already, which means our newsroom wants to hear from you about issues you’d like to see our candidates asked about – and who you think is best suited for the job(s). You can send us private tips or write a Letter to the Editor as a way to get feedback from the community.

The powerful gift of community – it’s a real thing and we’re grateful to be a part of it.

Anna Killen is the editor of Beach Metro News.

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