The Vernon Salvation Army has seen a steady increase in the number of families accessing their services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and now staff and volunteers are preparing for another spike this holiday season.
“In the early stages of the pandemic we experienced days that we quadrupled the number of hampers (we were giving out) for people in need and we also provided daily lunches outside,” said Neil Thompson, Vernon Salvation Army auxiliary lieutenant.
The Vernon Salvation Army has adjusted the way their holiday programming works this winter due to the pandemic. Their toy room where families would normally be able to pick presents for their children is closed, and instead, parents will receive gift cards to purchase gifts.
They have also had to hire extra staff to handle the new clients coming through their doors.
“Last year we served about 420 different households and this year we are anticipating and have applications for 550, so a significant increase this Christmas,” said Thompson.
To make up for the loss of donations that usually are collected through food drives the Vernon Salvation Army is hoping the community will support them with monetary donations this year. Donations can be made during Global Okanagan’s Your Okanagan Calendar Campaign.
You can donate in the following ways:
- Online: Through Food Banks BC to make a donation to the food bank in your area:
- By phone: Call our front desk at 250-762-4535 or 1-888-762-4535 to pay by credit card
- By mail: Send a cheque made to the Food Bank of your choice to Global Okanagan 342 Leon Ave., Kelowna, BC V1Y 6J2
- In person: At the Global Okanagan Office, 342 Leon Ave Kelowna BC. We accept cash, cheque, credit or debit
When you donate online, by phone or by mail, we will mail your calendar(s) to you. Expect that they will take 10 days to two weeks to arrive.
Please make a donation to the food bank of your choice in the Okanagan.
Only donations of $30 and greater are eligible for a tax receipt which will come from the food bank.
Donations will be accepted until Dec. 31, 2020.