The Salvation Army is in the midst of its busiest season, raising funds to add a bit of Christmas cheer to the less-fortunate members of the community.
Kettle volunteers will continue ringing bells at various locations until Christmas Eve, by when the Sally Ann hopes to raise $282,000. As of last week, it had only reached 40 per cent of the target.
“We’re really needing some assistance in that area,” Pastor Darryl Burry said. “That’s a huge need. That not only supports our programs at Christmastime but it supports us throughout the entire year, so it’s really important.”
A new initiative to supplement the hamper program is a backpack program to provide practical items such as toothpaste and socks — maybe even a Tim Horton’s gift card — to individuals without a fixed address.
“Very practical that we can bless someone who is homeless on Christmas morning,” Burry said. “As we hand out Christmas hampers, we recognize a lot of people who have no fixed address, they don’t have a way to cook a meal.”
Hampers will be distributed Dec. 18 to 20 at the building formerly occupied by Sprott-Shaw Community College in Courtenay near 29th and Cliffe.
Last Christmas, the Salvation Army distributed 544 hampers in the Comox Valley. Hampers provide food and toys for families.
Donations can be made online by credit card via the Virtual Kettle at www.cvsalarmy.ca.
“Every penny stays here,” Burry said. “It’s a really easy way to support us, and you get your income tax receipt e-mailed to you within a matter of minutes.”
Donations can also be made by mail or in person at the Salvation Army Church Office at 1580 Fitzgerald Ave., and at Sally Ann thrift store locations.