‘Sally Ann’ launches Christmas campaign

Duane Hicks

With the holiday season now upon us, the local Salvation Army is reminding the public that its 2011 Christmas campaign, “Beyond Personal Compassion and Hope,” is underway—and they’re looking for your help.
“Without the support of the community, we wouldn’t be able to fulfill our aim for this campaign,” stressed Capt. Angel Sandoval, adding the campaign’s goal “is to see no one in need goes without a touch of Christ’s joy.”
He noted many families are out of work, and “they’ve hit tough times and are on the brink of poverty and despair.”
Some children are hungry and lack warming clothing and blankets, and they’ll need compassion to have hope this coming season, added Capt. Sandoval, noting the more support the Salvation Army has, the better they can serve Rainy River District.
Hamper program
One important way individuals, families, businesses, and groups can support the Christmas hamper program is by giving monetary donations (cash donations get a tax receipt) or, more specifically, through two hamper programs: “Adopt-a-Family” and “Sponsor-a-Family.”
With the “Adopt-a-Family” program, the Salvation Army provides a profile of a family, along with a food list and a wish list (the latter will include a minimum of two gifts per child—one large gift for $30 and one small gift for $15—with gifts for parents being optional).
The “adoptive” family—often a workplace—then will gather the items, put together a hamper, and donate it.
Under the “Sponsor-a-Family” program, a benefactor may donate $260 to the Salvation Army to help a family of four, or $150 to help a smaller one.
The Salvation Army will use the money to purchase the things that are needed, then put the hamper together themselves.
If you’re interested in helping a family this way, it is asked that you contact the Salvation Army by Nov. 25 (although it’s never too late to help in any way).
You either can call 274-3871, fax 274-0761, e-mail salarmy@jam21.net, or drop by the Citadel (316 Victoria Ave.)
Capt. Sandoval noted individuals and groups also can help out by volunteering to put together the hampers later in December before they given out to those in need.
This will be done closer to Christmas.
Meanwhile, those who need a little help this holiday season should know the Salvation Army will be accepting applications next week for its Christmas hamper program.
Those who would like to receive a Christmas hamper this year must pick up a registration form on Nov. 24-25 at the Salvation Army Citadel on Victoria Avenue (across from the clinic).
To sign up, you need to provide legal ID for each family member, as well as documentation of your annual income.
Forms must be returned to the Salvation Army on Nov. 28-29.
‘Parade of Lights’
The Salvation Army also will be leading the annual “Parade of Lights” on Saturday, Nov. 26.
The parade will get underway at 4:30 p.m., starting at the arena and proceeding west on Scott Street to Mowat Avenue.
Volunteers will be collecting non-perishable food items and cash donations, so parade-watchers are encouraged to be generous.
As well, local residents can help out by ringing bells during the Christmas Kettle campaign, which begins on Dec. 1 and runs through Dec. 24.
The Salvation Army will be placing kettles at Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Safeway, LCBO, and The Place and the public is encouraged to sign up to ring the bells for a couple of hours.
(The kettles also will be located outside the CIBC, RBC, Northern Lights Credit Union, and TD Canada Trust at various times during the campaign, where bank staff have volunteered their time).
“One hour, two hours, anytime you have free time, we will appreciate that,” said Capt. Sandoval, adding volunteers can contact the Salvation Army at 274-3871.
He added he has contacted local groups about scheduling their members to ring bells and is hoping they agree to help out.