Charities call for donations

Red Deer agencies still need some help to spread Christmas cheer to low-income families this season.

Red Deer agencies still need some help to spread Christmas cheer to low-income families this season.

Salvation Army and Central Alberta Women’s Outreach Society are looking for sponsors for Adopt-A-Family Programs. Each sponsor is matched with a low-income family to purchase gifts for family members, along with food or grocery vouchers for the family’s Christmas dinner.

The Salvation Army is assisting families and seniors in need and so far 165 have applied.

“We definitely could use some more sponsors,” said Shawna Wilnechenko, Salvation Army family services co-ordinator.

About 30 more sponsors are needed and more families will be meeting with staff this week to apply for assistance, Wilnechenko said on Monday.

Salvation Army Family Services is also accepting new unwrapped toys, teen gifts and monetary donations to assist Adopt-A-Family.

Central Alberta Women’s Outreach is focusing on helping single-parent families that haven’t used its Adopt-A-Family program in the past.

So far, applications have come in from 120 families.

Executive director Barb Barber said demand is up about 10 to 15 per cent, which has been matched by community support.

“We do have some long-term sponsors we’ve really come to depend on,” Barber said.

Applications from single families for the outreach program will be accepted until Dec. 10.

Red Deer Christmas Bureau also needs community contributions. Last year, the bureau gave out gifts to 1,156 children and 1,076 food hampers.

As of Monday, the bureau had received 726 applications. So far, toys for 765 children have been requested, an increase of 76 requests from the same time last year.

Applications to receive bureau hampers and toys will be accepted until Dec. 17.

Donations of toys or cash for the Christmas Bureau can be dropped off at the bureau, Bay 10 7429 49th Ave., across from Cosmos in the city’s north end. Toy boxes and cash cans are also set up in shopping malls, schools and businesses throughout the city.

For more information about the Adopt-A-Family programs, call the Salvation Army at 403-346-2251 or Women’s Outreach at 403-347-2480.

The Christmas Bureau can be reached at 403-347-2210.