With Christmas just around the corner, many families in our community find it a struggle to make ends meet, especially with the added expenses of the Holiday Season. The Salvation Army Oshawa held a press conference today at the Oshawa Temple, Thornton Rd, amidst a sea of toys donated for distribution to registered families in the area.to highlight the need for more cash donations on the run-up to Christmas, “Christmas is one of the most stressful times for a family,” said Major Ken Percy from the Salvation Army Whitby Community Church who went on to say donations are down over $60,000 on the same period last year. Percy went on, “The money we raise at Christmas funds what the army does all year round.” Salvation Army Director Leigh Rowney said donations to the Red Christmas Kettle fundraiser in Oshawa were also down. Despite the ability to donate at these kettles, located at grocery stores and LCBO outlets, with credit or debit cards, the current fundraising total stands just over $176,000 which is $10,000 down on last year’s income to date.
“Poverty is an everyday battle for many people in our community,” said Rowney. “Some just find that extra stretch at Christmas makes it almost impossible to make ends meet. People experiencing poverty are not without hope; their lives are just harder than they should be.” Rowney said 465 individuals and families have registered for Christmas Hampers, which represents 650 children. Some families have applied for toys and food, others just for assistance with food. Krista came to the Salvation Army a few years ago to access their services of toys and food. The single mother of four aged from six to 15 years of age recently enrolled at Durham College in their Animal Care Program and came to the Salvation Army again this year to try and make Christmas a little better for her family. “It’s nice to have somewhere to go,” said Krista. You just want your kids to be happy at Christmas.” Krista went on, “It’s an amazing foundation. I love the people.” Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at https://www.oshawa-temple.org/ and press the donate tab. Major Ron Cartmell stressed to anyone making a donation to know any money received remains in the community where it was donated.