Christmas wishes: More children's mentors, more food on Richmond's table

Mayor wishes for greater social equity, child advocate asks for adults to anchor kids' lives

FRIDAY FEATURE: Dear Santa, Remember when you were young? Remember those adults - parents, teachers, coaches, neighbours - who listened to you without judgment?

Who helped guide you to the right decisions? Who believed in you? Who helped anchor your life? We have long heard that it takes a village to raise a child. I believe that every child needs their own personal village. Every child needs the "Power of Five." My wish, Santa, is for all Richmond children to have the Power of Five.

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The Power of Five is based on research that tells us every child needs at least five caring, supportive adults in their lives to ensure success and achievement. These adults have high expectations of the child; see what is strong and "right" within the child; and teach and model skills that will grow the child's unique intelligence and talent. These adults are connected to each other and provide a web of support for a child. Wouldn't it be great if every Richmond child could have the Power of Five to give them the support they need to succeed? Sadly, only 20 per cent of Richmond children identify five or more adults who anchor them and almost 30 per cent of children can only identify two adults or less.

So, my second wish, Santa, is for Richmond residents to step forward and consider being an anchor in a child's life.

For some children, the Power of Five might be a mother, father, grandmother, grandfather and auntie. For others, it might include a neighbour, coach, family friend. What is important is that any one of you can help kids succeed Richmond-style!

Helen Davidson Manager, Richmond Children First


Dear Santa, In 2014, city council will focus on implementing our innovative new Social Development Strategy to meet a number of social challenges, such as the high incidence of child poverty.

My wish is that our partners in other levels of government will continue to work with the city and our community agencies to ensure greater social equity and inclusiveness.

To preserve our immediate and long-term quality of life, I had hoped the plans to have tankers filled with jet-fuel plying the waters of the Fraser River Estuary would be rejected.

The proponents should re-examine options to deliver their fuel supply without posing such obvious danger to Richmond.

Also in 2014, I wish that our residents take part in the discussions on a number of important decisions for our city's future, including:. Determining the future for the Garden City Lands. Developing programs and amenities to be included in the recentlyapproved new Minoru Aquatic and Older Adults Centres. These facilities will serve Richmond residents for many decades to come.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie


Dear Santa, Here are the Christmas blessings we wish for everyone in Richmond:. Nutritious food on every table. Too many people in our city have to choose between paying their rent and buying groceries.. Peace and comfort for people who are struggling with the hardships and stresses of poverty.. Warmth and belonging for people who are marginalized by poverty.

. Blessings for all who generously give and work to alleviate the hardships of poverty and address its root causes.

. A place to call home.. A permanent home for the Richmond Food Bank.

From everyone at the Richmond Food Bank

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