Charities close gap on donations

Thousands given by residents to Food Bank, Cyrus Centre and Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has raised $602

The Salvation Army has raised $602

A trio of Abbotsford charities fell short of their Christmas fundraising goals, but are closing the gap.

The Abbotsford Food Bank and Christmas Bureau set out to raise $800,000, and have narrowed the amount outstanding to $198,000. In mid-December, the group had raised $503,000.

In a previous story, food bank manager Dave Murray said $800,000 represents the agency’s annual operating budget.

Cyrus Centre, which helps at-risk youth, has gathered $70,000 as of Tuesday morning, said executive director Les Talvio. The organization wanted to raise $100,000 and Talvio said “we’ll just have to work that much harder at fundraising.”

He said that residents have given a lot of “moral support” to the Cyrus Centre and that “just keeps you going.

“There are lots of good causes and [people’s] dollars can only go so far.”

They plan to host another fundraiser Feb. 22 called the Coldest Night of the Year. In this national event, people form teams and gather pledges to take part in either a 2, 5 or 10 kilometre walkathon. The nighttime walk begins at the Sevenoaks Alliance Church, includes a stop at Cyrus Centre, and ends at Mill Lake Park where there will be warm drinks and food, according to organizers.

The Salvation Army set out to raise $500,000, and as of Dec. 31, they had reached $413,000, said spokeswoman Deb Lowell.

“We’re getting there for sure. We’re hopeful that before the end of the year we’ll make up the difference,” she said, noting that a number of cheques were still being counted as of the News’ press deadline. “One cheque can make a difference. The people of Abbotsford are very gracious and generous.”

Lowell said that even if they’re a bit short, the Salvation Army will hold another fundraiser early in 2014.

“We’re thankful for the help. Every amount that people have given will help a life,” she said.

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

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

For more information or to make a donation, call Cyrus Centre at 604-859-5773 or visit For information about the February fundraiser, visit You can register a team or donate funds at that site.