Santa coming to Canadian Tire in Parksville

Santa Claus will be at Parksville Canadian Tire in Wembley Mall Saturday Dec. 3, 10, 17, and 24 from 9-11 a.m. each day

The Salvation Army is happy to announce that Santa Claus will be at Parksville Canadian Tire in Wembley Mall Saturday Dec. 3, 10, 17, and 24 from 9-11 a.m. each day.

Donations will benefit the Salvation Army and support the many services they currently provide in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

Through monetary donations, volunteer hours and pro-bono services, the Salvation Army annually provides services to families in need in the Oceanside area that equate to more than $700,000, said a news release from The Salvation Army. Between the Christmas Kettle Campaign, donations made to the office and other fundraisers, the Salvation Army must raise $250,000 dollars over Christmas to continue to provide this level of services into 2017.

The goal for the Christmas Kettle Campaign is $100,000 dollars this year. This is a $25,000 increase from last year. The Salvation Army says it has experienced the loss of important donors this year, which has created a projected shortfall of $25,000. The Salvation Army must account for this money through the Christmas Kettle Campaign and other Christmas fundraisers.

The reliance on The Salvation Army in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area is increasing. The food bank has seen an increase in use due to the slowdown of the Alberta economy. In 2015, the food bank provided food hampers to an average of 455 families per month. Currently, the food bank is providing hampers to over 500 families a month and expects to see over 900 families in the month of December. This is an increase of 100 families compared to December of 2015. The soup kitchen is also expecting record numbers over December and has been serving over 110 people a day, four days a week.

The local Salvation Army ministry says it is completely self-sufficient and all the money raised in our community supports local people in need in the Oceanside area. Current services provided in the community include the food bank, the soup kitchen, and the Healthy Babies Food Program, as well as emergency assistance, pro-bono legal advice, sponsoring children to attend Camp Sunrise and providing school packs to children without lunches.

— NEWS Staff/Salvation Army news release

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