Every Christmas, the Salvation Army puts together several packages for families who could use a little help.
The Adopt a Family program provides that, although it could use a little help of its own, right now.
Specifically needed in the final rush before Christmas are gift cards for teens, such as for movies, Subway, iTunes, as well as new, unwrapped toys and new clothing for kids.
When it comes to food, the ingredients for a traditional Christmas dinner are all needed: frozen turkeys, and mixed vegetables, canned corn, peas and cranberry sauce, crackers and gravy mix.
Some sweets such as chocolate, candy canes, nuts, shortbread and hot chocolate are also in short supply.
All of the above will be bundled into a package and presented to several families in the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge area.
“Once again, we are calling on the generosity of those who are able, to help us provide to everyone who deserves a merry Christmas,” said Salvation Army executive-director Darrell Pilgrim.
But time is running out because the Adopt A Family packages are put together during the final weeks before Christmas, with the goal of delivering to families in time for Christmas Day.
Last year, Adopt A Family helped 61 families.
The Adopt A Family packages include gifts and food for families that have been referred by community agencies.
While the Christmas Hamper Society provides hampers, “The Salvation Army recognizes that some people feel reluctant to ask for help, and attempts to address this need so no family is left behind,” says an Army news release.
More help is also needed for this Friday’s Christmas dinner to be held at 5 p.m. at the Caring Place on 222nd Street and Lougheed Highway.
The essential ingredient, turkeys, are still much needed for the dinner. Last year, more than 300 people enjoyed the traditional turkey dinner.
“We need about 20 to 25 turkeys,” said Amelia Norrie, with the Salvation Army. Turkeys can be donated anytime from now until Christmas Eve because the birds will also be used for the Christmas Haven meal, which the Caring Place kitchen prepares.
Anyone can drop off donations at the Caring Place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Norrie said there’s also plenty of hours available for volunteers who want to ring the bells and man one of the Salvation Army Christmas kettles which bring in much-needed cash.
An agreement between the Salvation Army and Walmart means the Caring Place can once again put a kettle outside the west end of Haney Place Mall.
“We’ve been missing our location … since Zellers closed.
“That does very well, so we’re excited to have it there.”