Busy Christmas season ahead for Salvation Army | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

Busy Christmas season ahead for Salvation Army

 It doesn’t take long before ghosts and goblins fade into memory, and sugar plum fairies begin their fevered dance and Santa’s elves come to the forefront of our imagination.
    For some, that’s as far as Christmas visions ever get. Even in a close-knit community like Drumheller, there are cracks that people, and even whole families, fall through. Shelter and a warm meal may be the only Christmas wish they are hoping for.

    The one institution that works hard to help bring Christmas cheer is The Salvation Army, and they are only able to function with the generosity of the community.
    This generosity is a blessing for Captain Bram Pearce as he prepares for the holiday season. Last year was his first Christmas in the valley, and he had no idea what to expect. He was overwhelmed by the giving nature he encountered in Drumheller.
    “I couldn’t believe how involved the community was, and how much people cared. It was pretty humbling,” he said.
    Already, preparations for the Christmas season are upon the valley and The Salvation Army. They are coming off the best ever results from the third annual Spaghetti Eating Contest at Boston Pizza. The totals from the event continue to creep towards the $3,000 mark.
    The Drumheller Dragons are a big partner, and they will help The Salvation Army kick off their food drive. On Friday, November 21, The Salvation Army will be at the Dragons game. Planning is in the works to make it a special night. Fans are asked to bring their food donation to the evening’s game.
    This is also the kick-off to the kettle campaign. Volunteers are always needed for this campaign, which is just as important as the food drive to the organization, in meeting the needs of community members.
    “In the next six weeks we collect 85 per cent of the food and money we need for the whole year,” said Pearce.
    Last year was a trying time for The Drumheller Salvation Army Food Bank. Higher than average demand saw the shelves running critically low. This is one reason they are hoping for a great turnout at the Community Food Drive coming up on November 26. Heather Colberg is the community organizer.             Over one evening, the whole Drumheller and area will be blitzed in a no nonsense fashion. Canvassing starts at about 6 p.m.  Volunteers can come out to one of the many meeting areas (see B12) to participate. For more information contact Heather Colberg at 403-823-2369 or 403-823-4242.
    Once again ATCO has been generous in donating their shop space in the alley behind 3rd Avenue in downtown, which has come to be known as the Christmas Depot. Pearce is thankful for the use of their centrally located building.
    The very morning after the food drive, students from St. Anthony’s School will be at the Christmas Depot to sort the thousands of donations that came through the doors the evening before.
    On Sunday, November 30, The Salvation Army will be at the Drumheller Dragons home game for the annual Teddy Toss. Fans are asked to bring stuffed toys, and when the Dragons score their first goal, attendees will shower the ice with the toys.
    This is only what is in store for The Salvation Army for the month of November alone, building all the way up until Christmas.
    Already in 2008, the community saw a rise in the number of people needing The Salvation Army to make ends meet, and Pearce says because of the economy, there is potential to see even more need.
    “We’re all struggling, and for people to continue to give, it is extra special,” he said.
    Those in need of hampers are required to register in person at The Salvation Army.  Pearce says there is someone at The Salvation Army Church to take registrations on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. until December 11.
    To be a volunteer Christmas Kettle call The Salvation Army at 403-823-2215.

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