The Red Deer Christmas Bureau helped a longer list of clients in 2014.
A total of 917 hampers went out to families and individual residents of the city, compared to the 854 in 2013.
While bureau volunteers received slightly more applications from needy families this holiday season, there were significantly more individual clients in need of assistance.
Fortunately, public donations were generous and volunteers say the bureau was able to meet local need. (The bureau operates separately from the Red Deer Food Bank, but confers with the Salvation Army and Central Alberta Women’s Outreach to avoid duplication of services.)
Some 966 Red Deer children also received gifts from the Christmas Bureau — up from 946 last year.
Toy donations kept coming in, but toy depot director Linda Waschuk said it was hard to keep up with the need for presents for teenagers and older children.
Anyone interested in purchasing gifts for this age group next year should consider donating remote-controlled cars, MP3 players, makeup or makeup brushes, blow dryers, hair straighteners and other hair-related products.
The Red Deer Christmas Bureau was able to put some late-arriving gifts aside to get a head-start on next year’s campaign, and appreciates the community’s generosity.