14th Annual Christmas Hope Campaign
Christmas Hope is a 5-agency collaboration serving our community at Christmas including: Lethbridge Food Bank, Interfaith Food Bank, the Salvation Army, Lethbridge Family Services Angel Tree and My City Care Shop of Wonders. The Christmas Hope partnership ensures less-fortunate members of our community get everything they need for Christmas.
To make the most of resources and reduce duplication of services, our five agencies planned and prepared to serve 1800 adults and 4000 children over the 2020 Holiday Season.
This past Christmas, a total of 1,156 households were provided with food hampers complete with Christmas fixings, and 4,448 children received toy bundles so they might have something special under the tree on Christmas morning. Thanks to the support of the community, 1,360 adults and 4,448 children (5,808 individuals) were assisted this Christmas through the Christmas Hope initiative. All agencies altered their distribution this year to accommodate procedures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and implement safety precautions for recipients, staff, and volunteers.
Streamlining registration procedures allowed the collection of agencies to increase the quality of support provided to local families, while also limiting duplication of services, thus maximizing the resources generated from our community. This was particularly helpful for toy distribution agencies, as families received gifts for children from only one agency this year. Projected numbers were based on previous year totals and trends through 2020, while final distribution tallies identify unique individuals served.
Maral Kiani Tari, executive director with Lethbridge Food Bank, explains, ” Covid-19 came very unexpectedly and brought with it added stress and unpredictability. This year more than any other, our Christmas Hope agencies needed to ensure that we find ways to support individuals and families who are struggling safely. This was all only possible with the support of our incredible community, who gave generously.”
“Working in partnership seems to be having the best impact, not only for our donors, but for the families we’re here to help,” says Danielle McIntyre, executive director with Interfaith Food Bank. “When each agency can focus on what they do best, we are really able to stretch our resources, and we are able to provide a more consistent and festive experience for those we serve.”
Organizers are grateful that the community was able to meet the demand for those who requested help this year, however each agency will be required to continue to recruit support throughout 2021 to keep up with on-going support programs for local families. Donations are accepted by each agency year-round, it is never too late to give.
“Christmas Hope truly embodies the spirit of community involvement. What we wish for each of us this year and the next, in our personal, professional and volunteer lives, is to keep the idea of positive change and caring for those who need hope, front and center in all we do. It is simple, and it is radical. It will bring all of us courage for the future”, says Michelle Gallucci of Lethbridge Family Services – Angel Tree.
Christmas Hope agencies would like to express our gratitude to the community for assisting us in ensuring that everyone had a chance to have a Merry Christmas. “We have had an exceptional year serving our local communities across Southern Alberta. We saw a drastic increase in the number of people accessing our programs all across our Shop of Wonders locations. We are grateful for the staff, volunteers and donor’s support, which helped us serve over 30 communities across Southern Alberta.” Jen Tribble, My City Care Shop of Wonders.
Katherine Kuzminski with The Salvation Army, said, “In spite of the many challenges encountered in 2020, The Salvation Army Lethbridge is grateful for the continued support of our donors and cherish the thoughts of all the children who celebrated with the excitement of opening their gifts on Christmas morning. We look forward to our continued partnership and all the best wishes in 2021.”
On behalf of our staff, volunteers and the families we serve, we hope you had the happiest of holidays, and we look forward to your on-going support in 2021.
If you have any questions or would like more information please contact:
Agency Contact Information:
Katherine S. Kuzminski , Salvation Army