Salvation Army anticipates busy Christmas season | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateTue, 28 May 2024 4pm

Salvation Army anticipates busy Christmas season

    The Salvation Army is anticipating a busy Christmas season, judging by the trends the past year has shown.    
    The Drumheller Church is a leader in the community in providing social services throughout the year. At Christmas its efforts focus on the season and making sure those in the community in need are provided for.
    The season is kicking off with a Spaghetti Eating Contest tonight at Boston Pizza. This is a fundraiser to help support their programs. The November food drive is coming up on November 24, and the Christmas Kettle Campaign kicks off on November 18.
    Lt. Matt Sheils says they are gearing up to start its campaign. He said it may be  a busy year, especially tracking the demand of the food bank. While there have been a couple months where the number of households that use the food bank has dropped lower than last year, the demand continues to rise.
    He explains there is a demographic shift to the numbers.
    “The singles percentage has been dropping, but the family numbers have been rising,” said Sheils. “It is not a huge shift in the number of households that is shifting, it is just what the households represent.”
    On average the number of children and youth assisted by the food bank per month has gone from 27 in 2009 to 53 in 2011, almost a 100 per cent increase.
    “The number of people we are serving is much higher, but the number of households hasn’t changed as drastically,” said Sheils, explaining this is also why the food bank has had a tougher time keeping up with the demand.
    He said that single people are more mobile and could have simply picked up and moved out of the area for work or other reasons. Often it is more difficult for families.
    “It’s a great town and there is lots of employment, but is there really employment for the mom that needs to go to work doing the day when the kids are in school? She cannot find a job during the day, so she finds a job in the evening, and she has to find care for her children… all the money you make goes into looking after your children. There is not much left over,” said Sheils.
 He said they are anticipating larger numbers over the Christmas season.
    In 2009, they helped about 130 children. Last year the numbers were close to 200.
    “If the statistics are correct, there is also going to be a lot more children this year,” said Sheils.
    The registration date for Christmas assistance is Thursday December 8 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This helps the Salvation Army plan in advance for what is needed to fill the hampers.


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