Charities on the rebound

A last-minute burst of good will has given a big boost to groups that make their major fundraising drives during the holiday season.

A last-minute burst of good will has given a big boost to groups that make their major fundraising drives during the holiday season.

Central Alberta Women’s Outreach, Red Deer Christmas Bureau and the Salvation Army all say that donations have risen sharply since local media reported that donations were falling short while their needs had increased this year.

Response to that call for help has been incredible, ensuring that there is a hamper and gifts for every person or family who has applied, say people working for each of the three charities.

“Let’s just say the pressure’s off,” said Willy Bullock, executive director of the Red Deer Christmas Bureau.

Lori Ouellette, marketing and community partnerships co-ordinator for the Women’s Outreach, said her group was able to match a sponsor to each of the families that had asked for its help this Christmas.

Like the Women’s Outreach and the Christmas Bureau, the Salvation Army includes and adopt-a-family program in its Christmas drive. Unlike the Women’s Outreach, it did not find enough sponsors to look after all of the families that applied, said family services co-ordinator Shawna Wilnechenko.

However, there is enough money in the kitty and the Angel Tree campaign has collected enough children’s gifts to fill the gaps, she said.

Angel Trees are set up at local Dairy Queens. Each bears cards with the ages and genders of children in need. The donor takes a child’s card and returns with an appropriate gift to the tree.

While all families will be helped, the annual kettle drive is still about $41,000 short of its goal of $175,000, based on what it took in last year.

There was a shortage of volunteers to look after the kettles and the average collected had also fallen, said Wilnechenko.

The Salvation Army remains hopeful that it will get close to its goal by Christmas Eve.

Bullock said the Christmas Bureau has now received applications from 1,042 families, representing 1,060 children. That’s almost 350 more applications than it received last year.

More sponsors have been found and loads of gifts and money have poured in over the past few days. Coupled with carryover from last year, the donations will be sufficient to make sure everyone is looked after this Christmas, said Bullock.

However, it also means there will be very little carryover for next Christmas. Bullock is hopeful that donations will rise significantly in time for Santa’s annual visit in 2010.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Springbrook Skate Park gets financial boost

Province approves $125,000 grant for proposed skate park

ReThink Red Deer gets thumbs up from city on pollinator barn structure

Group is hoping to get a $40,000 building grant

Team Alberta athletes arrive in Red Deer on Saturday for pre-games orientation

Excitement is building with less than a month to go, says Team Alberta spokesperson

UPDATED: STARS Lottery is back

Lacombe STARS patient tells his story

Former Red Deer man named Mr. Gay Canada

To compete in Mr. Gay World

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Most Read