Families and individuals-in-need are feeling the love of the community this week in Vernon.
The Salvation Army is handing out its Christmas hampers until Thursday, with 430 expected to be distributed.
Lieutenant Stefan Reid says they expected more to apply, but the numbers are down from last year for unknown reasons.
“It actually surprises us. During the year, we’re seeing 20 new families a week and we expected to see a lot more come through our doors for hampers, but for some reason this year, the numbers are down a little bit, but we’re still giving out 430 hampers and the need is still there,” Reid tells Beach Radio News.
The hampers contain gift cards from Save On Foods.
“The value depends on the size of your family,” says Reid. “And if there’s kids, they get toys. We have stocking stuffers. We have an extras table with toques, gloves, scarves, pajamas and slippers. We also have donated nuts from Rancho Vignola, so they leave here with quite a substantial amount of stuff.”
The Army’s local Kettle campaign has raised 246-thousand dollars so far.
“We’re struggling a little bit this year. We’re about 36-thousand behind where we were this time last year,” says Reid.
The goal is to raise $500,000 for the food bank and year round programs to help people in need.
Donations can be made at www.vernonhouseofhope.com or at kettle sites around the city.