Cold snap at Christmas Bureau

The Red Deer Christmas Bureau has seen a drastic drop in donations at a time when need is the greatest.

Volunteers Wilma Heal

The Red Deer Christmas Bureau has seen a drastic drop in donations at a time when need is the greatest.

A treasurer’s report at a Red Deer Christmas Bureau board meeting on Monday night suggested the organization is down 50 per cent in donations from this time last year, with applications for aid up by more than 30 per cent.

Gary James, vice-president of the Christmas Bureau, said they’re hoping they’ll be down just 30 per cent, if money they’re hoping for comes in.

“It’s not been a good year as far as fundraising goes. We had most of our big events the weekend of the blizzard and that kind of cut everything down for us,” James said.

The RCMP Charity Check Stop was cancelled, the Westerner Christmas Bazaar went on as scheduled but the revenues were down, numbers were down for Stuff a Bus and the Rebels Tuque Toss only took in about half the items it normally does.

“A lot of it is the economy, too. There are people out there who may have given in the past who are not capable of doing it with the economy the way that it is,” James said.

Instead, many people are seeking help from the Red Deer Christmas Bureau this year.

He said the Bureau expects to give out 1,000 Christmas hampers this year compared with around 730 in 2008.

The whole organization is based on donations from the community of Red Deer. He said cash donations would make a big difference to ensuring needs are met this year and next year.

People can drop off donations to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau at bay #10, 7429 49th Ave. in Red Deer.

“We feel if it gets too far out of hand this year, we might have to adjust next year,” James said.

Other charities have been similarly hurt.

Salvation Army Captain/Pastor Jason Sabourin has seen demand for the Salvation Army’s community services increase 60 per cent this year, but the organization hasn’t yet reached the halfway point in its fundraising goal of $173,000. The money raised at Christmas funds programs throughout the year.

“We’re behind from where we were at this time last year,” Sabourin said.

He said the blizzard and current cold snap have kept people away.

“We’re hoping that this next week is a real barn burner,” Sabourin said. People can drop off donations to the Salvation Army at 4874 54th St.

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read