The Salvation Army is gearing up to gather donations for its annual Christmas hampers, given to provide a few holiday extras for less-fortunate locals.
“Sometimes no matter how hard you work, especially if you are a single mom, you can afford to live, but it’s those extra things [you cannot afford],” said Captain Deb VanderHeyden who, with husband and fellow captain Jim, took up their posts with the Salvation Army in Terrace this summer.
“It’s our joy and our pleasure to be able to provide those extra things for people at Christmas time, and in that way, it is a tangible way that we can love them.”
VanderHeyden said their desire to love and care flows out of being people of faith.
The Salvation Army anticipates receiving applications for just over 500 hampers this year.
They will contain gift cards for groceries and gifts for children and families.
VanderHeyden said the Army used to gather and pack food donations, but giving gift cards is nicer as it allows people to choose foods they like.
The Bell Media toy drive and the hamper program, with families or businesses adopting a family, helps collect gifts for children and teens.
Teens can be particularly difficult to find gifts for and often may be forgotten by people who concentrate on children’s gifts instead.
VanderHeyden suggests gift certificates for the movies, gift cards from restaurants or music download cards would make good gifts for teens.
Applications for Christmas hampers are now available.
On Nov. 18, last Wednesday, the Salvation Army Ladies Home League met for a soup and bun dinner and workbee, stuffing envelopes with information about the hampers and inviting donations.
VanderHeyden said 8,200 letters were prepared to go out to homes and businesses and they are being inserted into this week’s issue of The Northern Connector.
Volunteers had to rush out and buy new labels last minute, because the wrong address wound up on the envelopes.
The mistake extended the work that night, with the ladies printing new labels and having to individually stick a new one on each envelope.