Hamper program looking for participants

By Allan Bradbury
Staff writer

The snows of early November may serve as a reminder that the Christmas season is right around the corner. The Salvation Army also wants to remind the local community that not everyone has the means to celebrate the season the same way and invites people to support those less fortunate community members who can use a helping hand this year.

The Fort Frances Salvation Army has started up its Adopt or Sponsor a Family and Christmas Hamper programs for 2021.

The Salvation Army has two options for people to support families this Christmas. Sponsor a Family allows people or organizations to donate a minimum of $150 and then the Salvation Army will do the shopping for you. With the Adopt a Family program you or your group can receive the information about a family in need and do the shopping yourself.

Sue Larson is the Community and Family Services Coordinator. She says the process is pretty easy.

“Those who would like to adopt a family will be given a family’s profile,” Larson said. “We have different sizes [of families]. Like a single parent with one child or three children or there’s two parents with four to five kids sometimes less. So basically, any size family.”

The requirements for shopping are to pick up a minimum of two gifts per child, one gift is expected to be about $30 and the second around $15. The Salvation Army will supply them with a list of things requested by the families. They can also include some gifts for the parents, but those aren’t required.

The other important part of the program is that sponsors are expected to buy enough food for the families for the holidays, including a turkey. Other ideas listed by the Salvation Army include potatoes, cereal, bacon and eggs, juice, coffee or tea and vegetables.

The idea, according to the Salvation Army, is to enable families to have a week worth of healthy, balanced meals.

Larson says they have a good base of groups that contribute to the programs every year.

“We actually have a pretty good group that do this every year,” Larson said. “And they just love doing it.”

Larson also says the people receiving the sponsorships and donations are very appreciative as well.

“The people that are receiving it are very grateful, extremely grateful,” Larson said. “Some of them are so surprised at how much they got that they were in tears.”

Families who would like to receive this support can apply to the Salvation Army ideally by Nov. 12. However, there is some leniency with that Larson says. People can contact her at the Salvation Army on Scott St. They are in their current location until Wednesday of this week and will be moving soon to 242 Scott St. The hampers and donations are handed out beginning Dec. 17 and in the rest of the week leading up to Christmas.

To apply for a hamper, or to adopt or sponsor a family, call 807-274-3871 or email fort.hamper@salvationarmy.ca.