Time to apply for Christmas hampers

Heather Latter

With Christmas quickly approaching, the local Salvation Army is preparing to help make the holidays a better time for hundreds of district residents.
Those in need of Christmas hampers this year as invited to pick up an application tomorrow or Friday (Nov. 22-23) from 10 a.m.-noon or 1-4 p.m.
Applications then can be returned to the Citadel on Victoria Avenue on Nov. 27-28 during those same hours.
Lt. Dennis Maybury noted applicants are required to provide proper identification and necessary documentation for the entire family.
“No one will be turned away if there is a genuine need,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the new officers also have begun the annual “Adopt-A-Family” and “Sponsor-A-Family” programs, with letters just recently being distributed seeking benefactors and supporters to help fill the Christmas hampers.
“[The programs] are designed to assist families whose finances cannot support the added cost that Christmas can bring and/or families that are facing some sort of crisis at this time of year,” Lt. Maybury explained.
He noted those who would like to adopt a family will be given a family’s profile at the beginning of December. With this information, they then will put together a complete hamper for the family they’ve adopted.
This will include a minimum of two gifts per child (one large gift around $30 and one small gift around $15), as well as food items.
The food list provided includes everything from a turkey, potatoes, and buns to cereal, cheese, and pasta—just to name a few.
It is to be used as a guide to ensure the adopted family has well-balanced meals for at least a week.
Those who would like to take part, but don’t have the time to put together a complete hamper, can choose to participate in the “Sponsor-A-Family” program instead.
In this case, Lt. Maybury said interested parties can donate the amount of money needed to fill a hamper.
Sponsorship of a “singles” hamper requires a commitment of $150 while the sponsorship of a “family of four” hamper requires the commitment of $260.
Those interested in participating in either of these programs are asked to contact the Salvation Army no later than next Monday (Nov. 26).
“The community has always been very good, from what I understand, in the past with helping fill hampers,” Lt. Maybury remarked.
“So we’re very appreciative of that.”
Meanwhile, another of the Salvation Army’s Christmas efforts is its annual kettle campaign, which will kick off Dec. 1.
They will be seeking volunteers to man the kettles from Dec. 1-24 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The kettles will be at four permanent locations (Walmart, Safeway, the LCBO, and Canadian Tire), with another kettle in Emo on weekends.
Lt. Maybury said the local banks also are supporting the kettle campaign, so a kettle will be placed at those locations on a specified day.
“It would be great if we could get some volunteers out for an hour or two,” he noted.
“A lot of the local clubs will be supporting us, too, by helping us out for a day at the kettles,” added Lt. Maybury.
“So if any other clubs, churches, or organizations want to join in and man a kettle for a day, that would really be nice.”
In addition, the Salvation Army will be collecting non-perishable food items and cash donations during the annual “Parade of Lights” here this Saturday, so people are encouraged to bring along their donations.
To volunteer or assist with any of the Salvation Army’s Christmas efforts, call the Citadel at 274-3871.