Abbotsford charities gear up for Christmas

The Salvation Army and the Christmas Bureau in Abbotsford have begun their holiday fundraising campaigns.

Angela Friesen (right) and daughter Kaitlyn greeted people while they manned a Salvation Army kettle last year in front of PriceSmart on South Fraser Way. The kettles will be out again in Abbotsford and Mission starting this Thursday

Angela Friesen (right) and daughter Kaitlyn greeted people while they manned a Salvation Army kettle last year in front of PriceSmart on South Fraser Way. The kettles will be out again in Abbotsford and Mission starting this Thursday

The local Salvation Army has seen similar client numbers this year compared to 2010, but the public relations director says expenses have gone up.

Some programs and services have been added, said Deb Lowell, while existing programs have faced increasing costs, resulting in a need for more money. The agency has set a $500,000 goal for its Christmas fundraising campaign, compared to $475,000 last year.

The funds raised by the Sally Ann during the holiday season support the organization year-round. But Lowell said fewer people are donating cash, choosing for example, to give an in-kind donation such as food.

“People are still giving, but they’re giving in different ways,” she said.

The Salvation Army’s main fundraising source at this time of year is the red kettle campaign, starting Dec. 1.

Kettles will be set up at 10 locations in Abbotsford and three in Mission, with all funds remaining in those communities.

Volunteers are still needed to man the kettles and can call 604-309-0660 to sign up.

Businesses and organizations are invited to sponsor a site for a minimum amount, which then entitles them to have a sign displayed indicating their involvement. For sponsorship questions, call Lowell at 604-832-2218.

The organization also runs an Angel Tree program at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre. The public is invited to remove a paper angel from the tree and purchase a new unwrapped gift for the child listed.

Lowell said gifts for about 1,200 children are expected to be donated this year.

Among the services provided by the Salvation Army year-round are a meal centre, emergency shelter, referrals to community resources, counselling, and supportive independent living.

The agency deals mainly with single people and couples without children, while families are handled by the Abbotsford Community Services’ Food Bank, which operates as the Christmas Bureau at this time of year.

Co-ordinator Dave Murray was not available for comment before press deadline, but the bureau holds a Christmas campaign to raise funds for year-round services. These include food hampers for families in need, an on-site dental clinic, mentoring, school supplies, financial management workshops and more.

At Christmas, the bureau provides gifts and food, including through its sponsor-a-family program. Donations of new unwrapped toys and other gifts are now being accepted. Families in need of support are encouraged to register as soon as possible, as are businesses and organizations that would like to sponsor a family.

Meanwhile, both organizations host special events this weekend. The Salvation Army’s annual Santa Shuffle Fun Run and Elf Walk is on  Saturday, Dec. 3 at Ellwood Park, starting at 10 a.m. Registration can be done online at santashuffle.com or in person.

The Christmas Bureau hosts an open house on Sunday, Dec. 4 – the same night as the downtown Christmas tree lighting – from 4 to 8 p.m. It is located at 33914 Essendene Ave.

For more information on how to donate to the Christmas Bureau, call 604-859-5749, visit http://www.abbotsfordchristmasbureau.org/ or email christmasbureau@telus.net. Donations for the Salvation Army may be made at any kettle, by mail, by phone (604-852-9305), online (http://careandshare.ca/) or in person at either the Centre of Hope (34081 Gladys Ave.) or Cascade Community Church (35190 DeLair Rd.).

 

 

 

Just Posted

Satwinder Bains of Abbotsford is the recipient of the 2021 aculty Service Excellence Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (UFV photo)
Satwinder Bains receives UFV Faculty Service Excellence Award

Bains has guided South Asian Studies Institute as director since 2006

The City of Abbotsford has prepared a draft Urban Forest Strategy that is now headed to public consulation.
Draft plan adopted for managing Abbotsford’s urban forests over next 25 years

Urban Forest Strategy now heads to public-consultation process

Country music star Chris Lane stops in Abbotsford next February. (Submitted)
Country music star Chris Lane coming to Abbotsford

Multi-platinum artist bringing ‘Fill Them Boots’ to Abbotsford Centre on Feb. 19, 2022

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

The intersection of Blueridge Drive and Blue Jay Street is one of three intersections in Abbotsford approved for traffic lights this year. (Google Street View)
Traffic signals approved at 3 Abbotsford intersections

Projects part of $1.45M in road upgrades around community

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read