Local response helped make this year’s Salvation Army hamper distribution a success, says its community ministry director for the Bulkley Valley.
Just under 160 hampers containing food, gift cards and gifts were available for pick up Dec. 19 and again Dec. 21 from the Army’s location at the mall, said Adam Marshall.
“We had really good support. We’re just so appreciative of the community every year for the support we have so we can give back to the community,” he said. “We really know there is a need, especially this year.”
This year the COVID-19 pandemic changed the hamper program so that more gift cards than ever were received as opposed to other kinds of donations.
“People just came out of the woodwork with gift cards. Cram the Cruiser alone resulted in $1,300 in gift cards,” Marshall noted of the annual event hosted by the Houston RCMP detachment.
And one of the Army’s community partners, Twain Sullivan school, bolstered the gift card total with $1,000 worth, he said.
“To have community partners like that is incredible. We’re just so appreciative,” Marshall continued.
What makes gift cards so valuable is that they provide recipients with the ability to make their own choices when purchasing food.
“So often they have choices removed from their lives, so this provides them with a level of independence they may often not have,” Marshall said.
And although the Army’s hamper distribution program has wound down for this month, it has a few hampers left for distribution on Jan. 12.
People still wishing to make a contribution to the Army’s work in Houston and area can do so by visiting its area website, https://bulkleyvalleysa.ca, and make an online donation.
“Donations made will stay local,” said Marshall. “Of donations, 86 cents stays local to be able to provide our programs. The other 14 cents is for administration, which is minimal.”