Growing a hide is a key element of blogging. This site apparently gets millions of visits. There are 633,000 comments posted. Most people are okay. Some are despicable and their words never see the light. Others worm their vicious, flesh-eating way through my protective coating. Sometimes they even elicit a reply.

Today is one such (rare) occasion.

On the weekend, an oft-visiting A-hole left these words in response to a post about 2019 market returns: “Pretty sad. It’s x-mas time and every one bragging about how they made a killing on the stock market. How about bragging about how you helped out at the food bank or the salvation army. Pretty sad, indeed.”

So, here is a partial report on what my colleagues and I have been up to of late. No bragging involved. This is just what regular people do routinely while others are blogging about their moral superiority.

In Ontario we donated enough cash to fill this car with stuff that less fortunate, homeless and down-on-their-luck folks could use. (Note: not a Porsche.)

Loaded in there are 300 packages of new hoodies, winter gloves, toques and bundles of thermal socks. They were delivered to three shelters in urban Toronto – The Scott Mission, The Yonge Street Mission and New Hope. In addition another 400 pair of thermal socks went to a charity that distributes them to homeless people on the streets of that city. Here’s what one of the shelters had to say in response: “THANK YOU! Winter is always a challenging time, particularly for our newcomer residents who are often unprepared for the Canadian cold. Your efforts and kindness is truly appreciated and we are sure will be incredibly beneficial to our residents.”

Here are some of our Bay Street colleagues just before the packages were delivered. Nobody was required to support this effort. Everyone did.

In the east we donate money to a (unfortunately) growing food bank. A few months ago we footed the bill for plumbers to install fixtures that another food bank desperately required to deal with the needs of its clients.

For the past year several community groups have been provided with unconditionally free office and work space in our building to house staff and volunteers and carry out their valued work. One of them specializes in providing recreation and leadership guidance to under-privileged and indigenous kids from across the region and Canada. There’s a special focus on helping young women achieve their potential.

Finally, it might be worth mentioning the free financial advice (and canine appreciation) provided by a certain pathetic blog 365 days of the year. No ads. No sales pitch. The hope is that by empowering people to seize control of and manage their money, to understand what investing is, minimize tax and ensure their family is cared for, that they will advance. Then we all do better. More independence. More freedom. More joy. More success. Less struggling. Fewer assholes.