By Lethbridge Herald on November 18, 2023.
Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – email@example.com
The Christmas Hope Campaign has officially kicked off and six local organizations have once again partnered to help hundreds of families in the community have a wonderful Christmas.
For their 16th year, the Interfaith Food Bank, Lethbridge Food Bank, Lethbridge Family Services Angel Tree, My City Care Shop of Wonders, the Salvation Army and Volunteer Lethbridge will be collecting food, toys, monetary donations and everything in between to make sure families in need can celebrate Christmas with dignity and create wonderful memories.
By partnering, they have committed to jointly assist 3,500 adults and 6,500 children in the community this year by sharing their resources and expenses associated with serving a joint clientele, while also making sure services and benefits are not duplicated and therefore everyone who needs help is able to receive it.
Executive director of the Lethbridge Food Bank, Mac Nichol said the Christmas Hope Campaign is something that other cities are slowly adopting as they see the benefits of a multi-agency approach.
“Other cities are reaching out to see how we do it. The partnership we’ve had over this 16 years is only grown, and really make sure that we are providing the services we need, but that we’re supporting each other to make sure that everyone in our community has access to the same things and really trying to be equitable about everything we get,” said Nichol.
He said that model is something both food banks have used since the 1980s. They focus on making sure the needs of the community are met, and whenever possible they share their resources to be able to reach that goal.
“If we have an overage of a certain food, we’ll share it with interfaith or vice versa, just to make sure that that need is always met,” said Nichol.
When it comes to making the Christmas Hope Campaign run smoothly, many if not all of the agencies involved rely heavily on volunteers and membership manager with Volunteer Lethbridge, Nicole Bosh said her organization helps connects members of the community looking for volunteer opportunities with the campaign organizations.
“We know so many people have so many great talents and resources that they want to share during this holiday season, that we’re a resource to help promote different opportunities among our partner agencies of how people can become involved,” said Bosh.
She said last year more than 800 volunteers contributed over 6,000 hours to the Christmas Hope Campaign which had a huge impact on the campaign.
For information on the multiple ways residents can help others in the community have a wonderful Christmas, visit http://www.christmashope.ca