Abbotsford charities still far from fundraising goals

Food bank, Cyrus Centre and Salvation Army are struggling through their Christmas campaigns.

Volunteer Danielle Milette collects donations for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign outside of the Save-On-Foods on Whatcom Road. The campaign is currently underway at 20 locations in Abbotsford and Mission.

Volunteer Danielle Milette collects donations for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign outside of the Save-On-Foods on Whatcom Road. The campaign is currently underway at 20 locations in Abbotsford and Mission.

The three main Abbotsford charities holding Christmas fundraising campaigns are still struggling to reach their goals.

The Abbotsford Food Bank and Christmas Bureau has reached $503,000 toward its $800,000 goal, while Cyrus Centre for at-risk youth has hit the $25,000 mark – about 17 per cent of its $150,000 target.

An exact total for the Salvation Army was not yet available, but Deb Lowell of the agency said fundraising toward the $500,000 goal is behind where it was last year.

She said mail-in and drop-off donations are down, as are contributions to the red kettles located around town, despite four more kettles than last year.

“Mixed with the increased demand upon our resources, it makes a difficult equation,” Lowell said.

Food bank manager Dave Murray said the goal set for that agency is “exactly what we need to operate” for the entire next year. He said financial support is needed the most, but food donations such as canned meat, pasta, vegetables and peanut butter are always appreciated.

Despite the current shortfall, representatives from all three agencies said they are optimistic they will attain their goals.

“We have faith that the community will come through like in years past,” said Les Talvio, Cyrus Centre’s executive director.

For more information or to make a donation, call Cyrus Centre at 604-859-5773 or visit cyruscentre.com.

For more information or to make a donation to the Abbotsford Food Bank and Christmas Bureau, call 604-859-5749, go online to abbotsfordfoodbank.com or visit the facility at 33914 Essendene Ave.

Donations to the Salvation Army can be made by phone (604-852-9305), online (careandshare.ca), by texting HOPE1012 to 45678, or in person at either the Centre of Hope (34081 Gladys Ave.) or Cascade Community Church (35190 DeLair Rd.).

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