(PQB News file photo)

(PQB News file photo)

Mount Arrowsmith Salvation Army thanks community for support

Christmas Kettle campaign volunteers still needed

By Major Sergii Kachanov

This year we have not yet distributed our Christmas appeal letters because, as many of you know, our administration office was destroyed in a tragic fire.

Despite this obstacle, our amazing team of dedicated volunteers and employees continue to serve the community in a spirit of gladness, care and joy.

This year we have been able to assist several families of refugees from Ukraine, who arrived in our beautiful area in the beginning of summer. Some of them opened their hearts in thankfulness and wanted to contribute back to the community by volunteering, which was a great encouragement to us. We see that Ukrainian families have been touched deeply by the generosity of our community.

The number of hampers we distributed at the Food Bank each month grew from 450 at the beginning of the year to 660 in November. Many others were helped through the availability of fresh produce. We thank all local grocery stores and other community partners who continue to supply our Food Bank, enabling us to serve the neediest in our community.

We continue to provide support to the Healthy Babies Program for expecting and new mothers.

Our Soup Kitchen serves about 1,600 individual hot lunches each month.

All these areas of ministry are impossible without our precious and dedicated volunteers who contribute many hours of their time.

READ MORE: Oceanside recreation grants totaling $32,000 awarded to 15 PQB groups

We wanted to thank all our partners for their continuing support and tremendous efforts to contribute to the Salvation Army Ministry in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

Our community, including stores, groups and individuals, have donated approximately 500,000 pounds of food to our Food Bank this year.

On Nov. 20, we joined the celebration of the two-month collection of the Craig Bay Community Food Drive and the “Fill the Boots” campaign of the District 69 fire departments. We have been astonished by generosity and servanthood of the members of our community donating to the fundraisers. Numerous local fire departments, businesses and schools participate in food drives as well, which is an excellent tool to teach each other and especially the younger generation about compassion and care for other community members.

The Christmas season is about generosity and thinking of others. This year to this date we have helped more than 5,790 people with food hampers and we expect approximately 600 of our community members to be served during Christmas. We continue to explore new opportunities to serve our community.

We have two more weeks left before Christmas Kettle campaign is over and the need to raise about $70,000 more in the Kettle campaign to meet our goal of $125,000. We have multiple Kettle shifts open and we welcome everyone who can contribute their time and effort to take shifts by signing up through the Kettle Hub on the Salvation Army Mount Arrowsmith website, or by phoning at 250-954-7345.

With deep gratitude we thank our community for being supportive despite challenging times, and for lifting our hands to extend hands to others by Giving Hope Today.

All funds raised or donations given stay within the community to support local needs.

Monetary donations can be brought, and cheques can be mailed to our food bank office at 886 Wembley Rd., Parksville, V9P 2H6. We accept credit and debit card donations at the till in our Parksville Thrift Store or over the phone at 250-248-8154.

When making a donation please make cheques payable to Mt Arrowsmith Salvation Army and provide your name and address. Tax receipts will be issued for donations over $20.

We want to express our gratitude to you, beautiful people, servants with big caring hearts, and use this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and blessed holiday season. May this be the season of joy, abundance, and satisfaction!

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