Wednesday, 23 November 2011 16:54

Swift Current Salvation Army kicks off campaign

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By Matthew Liebenberg

The organization hosted a pancake breakfast Nov. 19 during the official opening of its Miracle Room at the Swift Current mall. It was also the launch of the kettle campaign and the bells were already ringing at a number of businesses across the city that same day.

Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer made a brief presentation before cutting the ribbon to open the Miracle Room.
“The holidays always mean so many special memories for everybody, whether it’s enjoying a big family meal or opening those special presents from Santa for children,” he said. “Unfortunately, not everyone is able to do that without a little bit of help and the Salvation Army is always there to lend a hand this time of the year.”
He thanked the Salvation Army staff and volunteers for their work to bring some Christmas cheer to everyone.
“I hope our community is again as generous as they always are and I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season thanks in large part to groups like the Salvation Army.”
Salvation Army Capt. Michael Ramsay said the Miracle Room, which is located near Safeway, will be open throughout the Christmas period.
“The main function of the Miracle Room is to host our Angel Tree,” he explained. “An Angel Tree is where kids who are in need put their wish list on an angel.”
Anyone who wants to help make a child’s wish come true this Christmas can visit the Miracle Room to take a wish from the tree.
“It’s just absolutely something because kids that wouldn’t necessarily be able to have anything even at Christmas time will get that one thing they really wish for,” he said. “Their faces just light up and it’s just absolutely amazing.”
Their goal this year is to raise $170,000 during their Christmas campaign. According to Capt. Ramsay it basically works out to about $10 per person in Swift Current.
“It should go a long way to helping those in need in our community, not only at Christmas but throughout the year,” he said.
“So if you’re walking past a kettle and you had in mind to put in a certain amount, throw in an extra $10 for your neighbour and maybe we’ll make it up to $10 per person.”
The Salvation Army plans to have seven kettles at different locations around Swift Current during the festive season. On the first day of the campaign there were already kettles at the Miracle Room, Walmart and the Pioneer Co-op.
The next few weeks will be busy ones for Salvation Army staff and volunteers in the run-up to Christmas Day, when they will be hosting their annual community Christmas dinner. Before then, they will be preparing Christmas hampers.
“Last year, we had more than 200 hampers go out to families in need in this community,” he said. “All across this country the need has been growing, so we anticipate a probably even greater need this year.”
Hamper registration at the Salvation Army is from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 and again from Dec. 5-8 between the hours 10 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m.
The CP Holiday Train, which is visiting communities to collect food and money for local foods banks, will be in Swift Current at about 12:20 p.m. on Dec. 7.
There will be a toques, mitts and the popular Teddy Bear Toss at the Swift Current Broncos game Dec. 10, with all items being donated to the Salvation Army.
Capt. Ramsay said they would welcome anyone who wants to help out during this festive season.
“Anybody who is able and willing to help with either donations to hampers or adopting a family or just putting some money in the kettle when they walk past, and we’re always looking for people to ring the bells.... there’s lots to do around Christmas time with the Salvation Army.”

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