By Tim Kalinowski on November 17, 2020.
Representatives of the Interfaith Food Bank, the Lethbridge Food Bank, the Salvation Army, Lethbridge Family Services and My City Care Shop of Wonders came together for a special Christmas tree lighting at city hall on Monday, and used the event as a launching pad for their annual Christmas Hope campaign.
The organizations have worked together for 14 years to co-ordinate their efforts to ensure every family and every individual in need in the community can have a meal in their bellies, presents under the tree, and a stress-free Christmas without having to worry about extra bills to pay.
While the group’s efforts are always appreciated, and much-needed, in the community, Mayor Chris Spearman, who lit the Christmas tree in honour of the Christmas Hope campaign, said this year their work may be more important than ever. With the COVID fallout continuing and the difficult economic times we live in, he encouraged all who are able to help out in the community to go the extra mile this year if they can.
“I really feel, as many do, there are families in the city that are suffering,” Spearman said. “People are suffering economically, they are suffering from a mental health perspective, and they are isolated and they are cut off. This is a way to reach out. It’s a way for people to demonstrate that they care, and make sure others in the city do not fall through the cracks. This year, more than ever, people are in need. And these wonderful organizations can reach out and help in ways we can’t do individually.”
Christmas Hope campaign spokesperson, Danielle McIntyre of the Interfaith Food Bank, encouraged anyone needing support to reach out and ask for it.
“This year, of all years, is a chance to come together as a group. We have been doing this for 14 years now, proving that many hands make lighter work,” she said. “We are very grateful to have such great partners, and it is also a wonderful thing for our community to have options as to where they give, as to where they receive support. And it is also an opportunity for people to give as they can, or request the assistance they need. Whether it be food or toys, or food and toys, we are working together collectively to make sure we are helping every individual that needs it this year.”
McIntyre admitted she didn’t know what COVID was going to bring in terms of need this year, but they had made preliminary plans to aid 1,800 adults and 4,000 children in the community this Christmas season.
To learn more about the Christmas Hope campaign, to volunteer as a delivery driver, or to request assistance visit http://christmashope.ca/.
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