Salvation Army seeking holiday season help

The Salvation Army is putting out a call to help families in need across our community this holiday season.

For more than 40 years the organization has helped people like Achamkeng Abille make it through at this time of the year with its Christmas Hamper Program.

“I was just thinking how Christmas was going to be, but now I’m blessed,” says Abille, a full-time nursing student and mother of two young children.

Abille, along with thousands of others, are picking up their hampers at different sites until Dec. 17.

However, to make everyone’s holiday season festive, the Salvation Army says it needs help.

“We’re at about 5,000 applicants this year and that’s up from last year when we had 4,500,” says Nancy Kerr, the manager of the hamper program.

Kerr says they need help with toy donations, “Our greatest need now is ages two to six for boys and girls as well as boys and girls from nine to 12.”

Donations for the Christmas Kettle Campaign are also down this year after a difficult 2020.

“With COVID last year we did not meet our goal of about $550,000 so we’re even in more need this year,” says Jon DeActis, with the Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope.

He says besides money they need volunteers to man the kettles, “Right now we’re very short on volunteers so this is kind of a call out for anybody who’s in a place to volunteer.”

Kerr adds, “We’re just trying to put smiles on faces of children on Christmas morning.”

For more information on how you can donate a toy to the Christmas Hamper Program click here or to volunteer at one of the kettles click here.