It’s getting close to the end of January and, at The Salvation Army, we are finally able to put Christmas 2012 to rest, but not without first expressing our deepest gratitude to all those who made it possible for us to prepare for 130 families.
The numbers are down from last year and that is encouraging, as we hope it is because some of our families were able to get back on their feet and not need to apply for help at Christmas. In a perfect world, we would not have any applicants for Christmas Hampers, but our world and especially our economy are far less than perfect. The economic challenges our country is dealing with are felt by everyone, and none so much as those who live from paycheque to paycheque and who pray they won’t have a vehicle break down, or the furnace quit on them on a cold winter night.
Some do not even have the luxury of a paycheque and depend solely on social assistance. They are not able to plan ahead for special holidays. With a fixed income, fixed rent and nearly every penny spoken for before the cheque arrives, budgeting for extras is nearly impossible. I’ve seen proof of this in black and white on the intake forms that all clients must fill out. Many are in deficit at the end of every month.
There is indisputably a need for what we at The Salvation Army do and for the services we provide. We, however, cannot do it alone. For the eight years that I have been employed as the family services coordinator with The Army, I have discovered that we do not do it alone. The citizens of St. Marys and the surrounding areas have been instrumental to our success with each Christmas Hamper program. The local (and some not so local) businesses that support our Christmas work each year and show such enthusiasm for our Christmas Hamper program are invaluable to us. I cannot imagine how it would be if we didn’t have the support of our schools, our banks, our service clubs, our businesses, our churches and the many individuals who come forward year after year with unconditional support for our work.
Listed in alphabetical order are those who make the work we do possible:
Adanac Images, Army/Navy/Air Force, BMO St. Marys, BMO Thorndale, Bob Smibert Fitness, Browns Corner United Church, Canadian Tire, Cascade Cleaners, Christ Church Anglican Lakeside, Coffee Culture, Doric Corinthian Masonic Lodge (Lakeside), East Nissouri Union Church, Fox Golf Club, Grace Community Church, Hillcrest Rebekah Lodge #372, Holy Name of Mary Church, Holy Name of Mary CWL, Holy Name of Mary School, Joe Taylor (St. Marys Ford), Kinettes, Kinsmen, Kirkton Anglican Church, Kirkton Women’s Institute, Kirkton/Woodham United Church, Lakeside Women’s Institute, Little Falls Public School, Living Rock Church, Lyric Flower Shop, Maple Leaf Foods/Schneiders, McConnell Club, McDonald’s Independent Grocer, Meridian Credit Union, Ministerial Association, Motherwell Presbyterian Church Women, Norampac (Steve Grigor, Lori Nelson & Elves), North Nissouri United Church, Odd Fellows, OPP Auxiliary/Stuff a Cruiser Food & Toy Drive, Perth County EMS/Stuff an Ambulance Food Drive, Richardson’s Foods, River Valley Golf/Tube Slide, Romeo Breakfast Club, Rotary Club of St. Marys, Royal Bank, Royal Canadian Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary, RVS Exhibitional Draperies, Scotiabank, Shur-Gain, St. James Anglican, St. James Masonic Lodge, St. Marys DCVI, St. Marys Early Learning Centre, St. Marys Lions Club, St. Marys Presbyterian Church, St. Marys Presbyterian Women’s Group, St. Marys Public Library, St. Marys United Church, St. Marys United Church Women, Stonetown Foodland, Sue Holliday, Sue’s Tiny Tots, Sutton Group Realty, Ted Montgomery, Thames Valley Retirement Knitters, The Flower Shop and More, The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of St. Marys, The Usual Suspects (Rob Stuart & Friends), Thorndale Lions Club, Thorndale Optimists, Tim Hortons, Tom Donati (Ashton Tire) and Friends, Town of St. Marys, Tradition Mutual Insurance, Trillium Home (Parry Sound), Ulch Transport, United Church Choir, Veterinary Purchasing, West Nissouri Public School.
To the many other individuals who gave so generously of their time and resources, all I can give back is a most sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart. We do our best to keep track of everyone who gives us a hand each year and genuinely hope we did not forget to include anyone on our list.
Wishing you all a prosperous and wonderful new year.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Family Services Coordinator
The Salvation Army St. Marys