The Houston Salvation Army has started collecting non-perishable food items and toys for this year’s Christmas hampers, which go to families in need.
In order to receive a hamper, persons in need must go into the Salvation Army thrift store and fill out an application.
“We go on the honour system and trust that people are being honest with us when they say they need a hamper,” said Rachel Chapman, store supervisor for the Houston Salvation Army thrift store. “In order to access the food bank we do go over financial information, but for the hampers we don’t.”
The Houston Salvation Army will be collecting non-perishable food items until Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. People can drop off items at the Salvation Army Thrift store on 3429 10th Street between Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Silverthorne Elementary School, Twain Sullivan Elementary School and Fields in Houston also have boxes people can drop off items in as well.
The hampers get delivered out on Dec. 23, 2017 just in time for Christmas.
Another way of helping out those in need is getting a present for one of the children who is a part of the family getting a Christmas Hamper.
Inside the Houston Salvation Army is an angel tree which has cards representing each child whose family is receiving a hamper.
“Someone can take the card and buy a Christmas gift for a child who may not get one this Christmas,” said Chapman.
The cards include the gender and age of the child whom you will be getting a gift for.
“For the older kids, especially teens, we suggest a gift certificate from countrywide. We have received a lot of positive feedback from that,” said Chapman.
The angel tree cards will be available on Dec. 7, 2017 inside the Houston Salvation Army thrift store.
A box and a money jar will also be at Small Blessings Veterinary Services Ltd, located on 2005 Nadina Avenue and open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., for people to donate food and money to animals of families that will be getting a hamper.
In 2016, a total of 250 single persons and 275 families were helped by the Houston Salvation Army food bank. In 2017, to date 238 single person and 272 families are being helped. Chapman said this number is likely to increase once November and December stats have been added.
Chapman added that On Dec. 2, 2017 she and the Houston RCMP will be in the parking lot of the Houston mall right in front of Buy-Low Foods. People can buy food items and fill the police cruiser for their annual Cram the Cruiser event. Buy-Low Foods has partnered with the Houston Salvation Army and the Houston RCMP to match donated products, see store for details.
“The Salvation Army will be giving out hot chocolate as well,” said Chapman.
And on Dec. 5, 2017 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Houston Secondary School will be doing a food drive collecting items door to door in the community.
For more information, call 250-845-3494, or visit the Houston Salvation Army on 3429 10th Street.