Approaching Ashland Oregon in the US, after a quiet cautious covid summer on Cortes, the first sightings of the devastation from the recent wildfires came into view. Over 2,300 homes and businesses were utterly destroyed in the valley. The landscape was decimated and the losses were heartbreaking and incalculable.

But we are all dealing with losses this year, some of them sharper and more permanent than others. Friends or family taken too soon by illness, rites of passage like graduations being deferred or carried out in radically different ways. There are cancelled weddings and impossible funerals. We missed the quotidian too–from daily socializing with neighbours to a perfectly uneventful summer day on Cortes Island.

One thing I’ve been hearing consistently, and have certainly experienced, is that this ‘time out of time’ has helped us recalibrate what matters most in our lives.

For me, the notion of home, the fact of having a home, and the deep feeling for the many who do not, have become more poignant than ever. In so many ways, solving the world’s problems begins at home–with understanding our privileges, along with the pains and needs of our neighbours.

As you may know, the Rainbow Ridge housing project, which will provide more residents of our island with the opportunity to live in stable affordable rental homes, is moving forward diligently. We are SO close to reaching our fund-raising goal. This will put us in the strongest position to win the BC Housing building grant early next year.

Please help take us over the finish line, with a donation, as big as your love for home, as part of your year-end gifting.

All donations will receive a Canadian charitable receipt from the CISS – Housing Committee. You can donate online now by clicking here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/cortes-island-seniors-society/

OR send a cheque to: Cortes Island Seniors Society – Housing Committee: PO BOX 27, Mansons Landing, BC, V0P 1K0

American donors can get a US tax deductible receipt via TIDES-US Foundation by designating your donation to Cortes Community Housing Fund – 2250 via this link: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/tidesfoundation

Because we all know that it takes a community to raise a village.

Thank you,

Priya Huffman, on behalf of

Cortes Island Seniors Society