Wednesday, 28 November 2012 16:43

Salvation Army kicks off Christmas campaign in Swift Current

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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It is that time of the year again, when the familiar sound of the Salvation Army kettle bells reminding people of Christmas and the need to share the festive spirit with the less fortunate.

The Salvation Army in Swift Current hosted a pancake breakfast on Nov. 24 during the official opening of their Miracle Room at the Swift Current Mall.
The event was also the official launch of the 99th annual Christmas campaign in Swift Current and the bells of the familiar red kettles were already ringing at locations across the city that same day.
“That is the main way that we generate the revenue needed to provide all the help that we do at Christmas time and throughout the year,” Capt. Michael Ramsay said. “So I’d really ask anybody, when you’re passing a kettle, whatever you’re able to give to help those in need, please put it in.”
Swift Current’s mayor Jerrod Schafer joined people at the pancake breakfast and he spoke briefly before cutting the ribbon to open the Miracle Room. He thanked the Salvation Army and all its volunteers for their efforts to bring some Christmas cheer to everyone.
“I always look forward to this event,” he said. “It seems to kick off the holiday season ... and these people do a tremendous job to make sure that it’s a great time of year for everybody.”
Schafer was confident the community will again be generous in their support for the Salvation Army’s Christmas campaign.
“I just want to encourage everyone to get out and give a little extra this year to help out a very worthwhile cause,” he said afterwards. “I know residents in Swift Current and southwest will continue to chip in in a big way.”
The Salvation Army’s goal is to raise $10 per person in Swift Current. Last year’s campaign raised $170,000 and they have a similar target this time.
“That’s really the baseline because that’s what we need to continue to support families in need in our community until next year, when we’re collecting money again,” Ramsay said. “This really is the time of the year when we collect the funds that go towards helping everyone in need in our community throughout the year as well as at Christmas time.”
All the money raised here will stay in the community. Last year, the Salvation Army helped more than 200 families with Christmas hampers in Swift Current and a similar number of people attended the community Christmas meal on Christmas Day.
“The need throughout the community this year has been greater than ever,” he said. “I’m just thankful that we’re able to partner with the community to address that need as it is growing.”
Throughout the year, the Salvation Army provides support and advocacy for the most vulnerable in the community through initiatives such as the community food bank, their thrift store and church, community kitchens, support for parents, children and youth as well as chaplaincy work for different agencies in the community.
During the festive season, they provide support by providing Christmas hampers, hosting the community Christmas meal and the angel tree inside the Miracle Room. Each tag on the tree lists a child’s wish from a family in need.
“As you take that and as you buy that gift, then you’re often able to provide a child with that special gift when they may not have anything under the tree otherwise,” Ramsay said.
The registration for Christmas hampers began Nov. 26. People can sign up for these hampers until Dec. 7 by visiting the Salvation Army during office hours from Monday to Thursday.
People can also contact the Salvation Army to book for the Christmas dinner and to make donations of non-perishable food items to the food bank.
“We always need people to help out with donations to the food bank,” he said. “This is the time of greatest need in the community, so every little bit that somebody is able to help will go a long way.”
For more information, phone the Salvation Army office at 306-778-0515.

Read 7083 times Last modified on Thursday, 29 November 2012 16:27