Houston residents are coming together to ensure low-income families in the Bulkley Valley can have a jolly Christmas season.
The Salvation Army is hoping to raise $70,000 through its Christmas kettle campaign, which supports programs such as Houston’s food bank.
According to Tim Sharp, Salvation Army’s Bulkley Valley ministries director, Houston has seen an increased need for this type of service over the past couple of years.
“We’ve seen an increase in the amount of people using our food bank, especially single people, so we’re trying to meet the needs of Houston as the needs grow,” he said. “The kettle program really helps us meet that need.”
Since October, Houston’s food bank has increased its service delivery – from once to twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) – to meet the growing demand.
As of last week, the Salvation Army had reached about half of their donation goal.
“I think it’s really just bringing that hope that people are looking for at Christmas,” said Sharp. “That’s really the spirit and what we’re all about – to give that hope when people really need it.”
“I think it’s great to see the community in Houston really step up and meet the need for that hope,” he continued, adding that the Salvation Army was able to meet their $70,000 donation goal for the Bulkley Valley last year.
Donations for the Christmas kettle program can be dropped off at the Salvation Army’s store or in kettles at the Houston mall until 4 p.m. Christmas Eve.
Those unable to make money donations can volunteer their time. If interested in volunteering, contact Brian Williams at 250-877-1071 or email@example.com.
Over 150 families to receive a Christmas hamper this year
In addition to the Christmas kettle campaign, the Salvation Army is bringing Christmas joy to Houston through their hamper program, in which hampers filled with toys and food are distributed to low-income families.
“We try to put a hamper together so they [low-income families] can have a Christmas meal, and children can have some toys – children that otherwise wouldn’t be able to get Christmas toys,” explained Sharp.
Over 150 families have registered to receive hampers this year.
Although registration to receive the hampers is over, Sharp says the Salvation Army won’t refuse news registrations if there’s a real need.
The Houston Minor Hockey Association and Ringette Association have done their part to support the program, with a generous donation of approximately 350 pounds of food.
Donations are still being accepted and can be dropped off at Buy-Low Foods or at the Salvation Army’s temporary location at the Houston mall.
The Christmas hampers will be distributed Saturday, Dec. 22.