Salvation Army expects more struggling families to register for its Christmas Adopt-A-Family program this year.
Run in conjunction with similar programs organized by Red Deer Christmas Bureau and Central Alberta Women’s Outreach Society, Adopt-A-Family provides a holiday meal and gifts for children younger than 18 who are eligible for assistance.
Registration at Salvation Army begins on Monday and Maj. Larry Bridger said lots of people have already booked appointments for next week.
He encouraged people who have lost their jobs and need assistance to come forward even though it may be stressful if they have never had to apply before.
“It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have to come and ask. Sometimes you need to a little hand up, not a hand out, to get over a rough time,” Bridger said.
“You may as well take advantage to still have Christmas.”
Last year Salvation Army helped sponsors adopt 220 families and individuals, including 400 children. In 2014, they helped 185 families and individuals. Mostly families with children apply, along with some seniors over the age of 60.
He said sponsors have also started coming forward.
“We’re going to need a lot more sponsors this year. To handle the number we expect, we’ll be needing a more new sponsors as well as previous sponsors.”
He said some individuals, groups, and businesses have regularly sponsored families for years.
Salvation Army will provide food and toys for families that are not matched with sponsors.
To register for assistance call 403-346-2251 to make an appointment. To adopt a family call or visit Salvation Army Church, 4837 54th St.