The Outreach Centre fund development officer Darcy Ouellet holds some donated baskets that will be included in Christmas hampers being distributed this year.

Red Deer charities need more donations to provide for more clients

Need for Christmas hampers is more acute in this year’s tough economy

Local charities are hoping for an outpouring of community generosity to help meet rising demand for Christmas hampers.

“I love Central Alberta — whenever residents see a need, they step up to help fill it,” said Darcy Ouellet, fund development officer for the Central Alberta Women’s Outreach.

This year, the Outreach has 105 single-parent families requesting help — that’s 10 more than last year on its list for food and toy hampers. At the same time, fewer sponsors have signed up to “adopt” families.

“Some of the (business sponsors) from last year just aren’t around anymore,” said Ouellet.

He believes the community will still come through, noting $100 will provide for each single parent and $125 for each child. “We’ve never had to turn a family away.”

Donations can be made this weekend to the RCMP CheckStop toy program, Only Women’s Fitness toy drive, and Sylvan Lake’s Trilliant Real Estate charitable tree sale (More information from www.womensoutreach.ca).

Meanwhile, the Family Services of Central Alberta plans to launch a fundraising/sponsorship campaign for its hamper program next week, with help from partner, Red Deer radio stations Real Country 95.5 and Z 98.9.

In the past, they’ve had a month to raise donations for client hampers. But this year, the radio stations’ other charitable event, Stuff-A-Bus, for the Christmas Bureau, is running into December. (It’s on this weekend, from Friday to Sunday at Parkland Mall.) That means there will only be two weeks to collect donations for the Family Services of Alberta hamper program.

Travis Kuschminder, assistant program director at Real Country 95.5, hopes public awareness of the greater need will keep donations at least at 2015 levels.

Last year, 95 hampers were given out. This Christmas, executive-director Judy Scott is seeing many new clients — including some who have never before needed help. She’s hoping to make as many or more hampers as in 2015.

She notes it costs about $200 to fill a hamper with food and staples for a family of three or more, $150 for two people, and $100 for a single person.

The Red Deer Food Bank has also had a significant increase in clients, particularly children, and is accepting donations of food and cash.

Ouellet said the local charities share a “master list” of families they are helping to avoid duplication.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Shipping oil by rail questioned

Red Deer-area mayors respond

Country star Gord Bamford and The Reclaws perform free Games concert Friday

Show starts at 6:30 p.m. in heated dome off Celebration Plaza in downtown Red Deer

Survey looks at social isolation among older men

Partnership between Red Deer College and Golden Circle Resource Centre

Peruvian brothers travel nearly 8,000 km to volunteer at Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Italo and Mirko Del Castillo say Canadian warmth contrasts with twinter cold

Pride Days celebrated for first time at Canada Winter Games on Feb. 21 and 28

Pride Days are another first for Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games.… Continue reading

Gardening: What are you planting in 2019?

What’s new in plants for 2019? Checking catalogues, greenhouses and stores will… Continue reading

Opinion: I spy another energy hypocrite

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The mittens provided to… Continue reading

Canada’s bobsleigh team races World Cup on Calgary home track facing closure

CALGARY — Canada’s skeleton and bobsled teams will race a World Cup… Continue reading

Italy becomes ninth international football league to join forces with CFL

TORONTO — Add Italy to the growing list of international football federations… Continue reading

Toronto Defiant Overwatch academy team to be known as the Montreal Rebellion

MONTREAL — The Toronto Defiant’s Overwatch academy team will be known as… Continue reading

Canadian fashion and design insiders recall Karl Lagerfeld’s charm, ingenuity

TORONTO — Several Canadian fashion and design experts who knew couture icon… Continue reading

Millennial Money: Make your funds move at the speed of life

Change is constant — especially when you’re young. Chances are you’ll cycle… Continue reading

TSB says improved tankers involved in Manitoba derailment that spilled crude

ST. LAZARE, Man. — Federal investigators say CN rail cars that spilled… Continue reading

Most Read