Williams Lake has proved generous once again toward the Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal.
“Our goal was $90,000 and we were close to that,” said Tamara Robinson, director of family services and community outreach. “That money will go toward our operational costs for 2019.”
Robinson said in 2018 the soup kitchen served 25,869 meals, the food bank helped more than 1,300 households with monthly hampers and the drop-in centre received 18,802 visits.
“We provided gifts to 273 children,” she said of December’s Christmas program, noting each child received a large gift and two smaller ones as well as stocking stuffers. “We also gave hampers to 675 adults.”
Donations received in the Christmas Appeal will help in 2019 with stocking the food bank, providing food for the soup kitchen, helping with addiction referral services, local disaster relief, emergency services, gym services and providing showers with towels, soap and shampoo.
“Last year we gave away $32,000 worth of furniture and clothing from our thrift store to individuals in need,” Robinson said.
If a client requires items, he or she is given a voucher to spend as cash at the thrift store, so in that instance the client is receiving it for free if in need.
The thrift store helps by directly funding the Salvation Army’s social services, she added.
So far the food bank is stocked, but Robinson said the kitchen desperately needs volunteers.
“I really need people to help make soup and do prep Monday to Friday in the kitchen,” Robinson said.
Even if someone can spare time on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9 to 10:30 a.m. to serve breakfast and pour coffee, that would be helpful, she added.
“We close at 9:45, but we ask our volunteers to do the dishes.”
Things had quieted down for the holiday season, however, it was busy again on Monday, Jan. 7 with about 90 people eating at the soup kitchen.