Red Deerians supported four nonprofit organizations during the 24th annual Charity Checkstop on Saturday.
The Red Deer Food Bank, the Red Deer Christmas Bureau, the Outreach Centre and the local Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter all received donations during the event, which took place on Taylor Drive between 43 Street and 32 Avenue.
“The community’s support is huge,” said Mitch Thomson, Red Deer Food Bank executive director.
“Food demand has never been as bad as it has been this year. Inflation is hitting everybody at home heading into Christmas.”
It’s been a challenging year for nonprofit organizations, Thomson admitted.
“By the end of October last year we had served 13,000 people. By the end of October this year, we were well over 21,000 and that’s not slowing down,” he said.
“People are coming out and they’re giving which is great because it’s needed. We aren’t building up donations for next year, we’re still just keeping up with demand.”
Teresa Kutynec, Red Deer Christmas Bureau president, said the need has been up for their organization this year as well.
“We’ve had a lot of families come in – some are big families with a lot of kids,” said Kutynec.
“We have about 150 more children we’re serving this year than we did at this time last year. We have about two weeks left, so I imagine it’ll get very busy.”
On top of bringing in donations, the Charity Checkstop helps increase awareness for the four charities, said Kutynec.
“It’s really important just to get people to know we’re here and what we’re doing, for both people who are making donations and people who are in need of help,” she said.
“It’s nice to see the community come out. They get the chance to give and it’s a very easy way to do it.”
It was cold outside while donations were being collected during the six-hour event.
“Everyone out here today is volunteering. We’re out here from the goodness of our hearts and we’re trying to do this for these charities, said Kutynec.