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My Name is Katie

I’m just another one of Edmonton’s every-day exceptionally average teenagers. I’ve turned 18 this past year and just graduated this past June from high school. If you know anything about your standard teenager living in North America, you’d know we’re all just in absolute dire need of a new cell phone, Macbook Pro laptop, an iPod; along with all the other supposed necessities of teenage life- every few months. And why yes, I do own all three of those things. But I’m not here to brag – in fact, I am here to confess; I’ve been through 6 cellphones, two iPods, and several computers. Living with my parents split up in two different homes, I have been showered with Christmas gifts every December from both of those homes. Even on our poorest days (and believe me, there were poor days), my family has more than blessed my life with not only the things I needed, but also the things I wanted.


As much as I am grateful for the many blessings in my life – there are teenagers, children, babies, etc. who would be grateful just to have shoes on their feet, three basic meals a day and a roof to sleep under at night. Actually, in 2011 it was recorded that there are 73,000 kids living in poverty in Alberta alone, 34,000 of those impoverished children are under 6 years of age. And that’s just the kids.


When you’re financially stable, Alberta seems like a sweet place to live. Flourishing with opportunities, and our gas prices are generally lower than anywhere else in Canada. For the less fortunate however, the gap between rich and poor in Alberta is higher than anywhere else in Canada, and what does that mean? It means our poor are the poorest of them all.


Thankfully, we have organizations like E4C who are working to minimize that poverty gap, and the amount of homelessness we have here in Edmonton. During the giving seasons, while you contemplate whom to spoil with gifts; I’d like to encourage you all to check out E4C’S WISH LIST and consider getting a little something special for someone who really needs it.


In thinking about the holiday season, I’ve come to a very important realization; the gift of giving is greater than any gift I could ever physically possess or own. And I hope many of you will feel the same.


Guest article by Katie Woitas

Excerpt from our Winter Envoy