‘Tis the season for giving, and the Salvation Army is hoping for a strong push to meet their goals for Christmas.
The Salvation Army has seen a surge in the need for Christmas Hampers. The Mail reported in its November 22 edition that it appeared the demand for hampers had dropped as they had registered about 100 families to receive them. The last couple of weeks, however, have shown a growing demand.
“Last year we did 144, and this year we are at 153, so we are up around 10,” said Salvation Army Captain Jennifer Hillier. “After the food drive, we looked around and said donations are down. And then we packed the food hampers and there was nothing left. Four years ago we did about 80 hampers and now we have almost doubled that.”
This year the Kettle Campaign is lagging behind compared to last year’s pace, and they are hopeful it will pick up.
Hillier said they were bolstered over the weekend by some fantastic donations to the kettles, however they are still trailing last year’s pace by about $3,600.
“We are really hoping that between now and Saturday we get caught back up. The community has been really generous as always, we want to say thank you to everyone who has donated and the volunteers who sat with the Christmas Kettles,” said Hillier.
They have had great success in its drive, thanks in part to Westergard Ford.
“We are in great shape for toys. Westergard did the tree and every single tag we put out into the community this Christmas was taken,” said Hillier. “Every child is actually going to get what they asked for this Christmas. It is amazing, the response for toys has been incredible.”
The focus turns to filling the rest of the hampers.
“Our need from this standpoint is food and financial donations,” said Hillier.
She said she is hearing from businesses it is an off year so far, and so far not as many people are out shopping for Christmas.
“That gives me hope, that as we get closer to Christmas, once people are done their shopping, the money will go into that kettle.
She has faith in the community.
“Drumheller has been wonderful and such a supportive community in the past so I believe it will come,” she said, “and making people aware the need is huge this year. This money is not just for Christmas time, it brings us well into 2018. We are already looking at food orders we will have to make in the new year, so the money that goes in that kettle will help us through the winter.”
“The Salvation Army is about giving hope. Our tagline is ‘Giving Hope Today,’ and we are going to be here well into 2018.”