Adopt-A-Family needs more support

The Salvation Army in Red Deer is assisting families who are struggling during the Christmas season by offering their Adopt-A-Family Program, and they are still short sponsors this year.

Sponsors are needed to help families trying to make ends meet. Without that added help, some children may not have toys under a tree or a Christmas dinner, officials say.

Meanwhile, the annual kettle campaign is heading into its final days. Funds raised are used to assist families and individuals at Christmas and throughout the year with a variety of programs and services.

By reaching this year’s $200,000 fundraising goal, the Salvation Army in Red Deer will be able to provide year-round food hampers, Christmas assistance, counseling, senior programs and summer camps in 2015.

Kettles are set up at Wal-Mart (north and south locations), Canadian Tire (north and south), Co-op (Deer Park), Scott’s Parable Christian Store, Parkland Mall by the Safeway entrance, Bower Place Mall, Save-On Foods (East Hill), Superstore and Costco.

Anyone interested in taking a shift can call Debbie Lang, the Christmas Kettle coordinator, at 403-346-2251 or by email at

Last year, the Kettle Campaign in Red Deer pulled in about $190,000.

With a national fundraising goal of $21 million, the Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign has received just over $11 million in donations so far this holiday season, according to a recent press release.

“The Salvation Army is truly grateful for the generous gifts of time and donations that we have received from people this year,” said Major Les Marshall, territorial secretary for public relations and development. “We have just over a week to go with our Christmas Kettle Campaign, and every dollar donated will help the Salvation Army continue its vital work during Christmas and throughout the year.”

The annual Christmas Kettle Campaign is The Salvation Army’s largest fundraising drive of the year. The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettles are hosted at more than 2,000 locations across Canada thanks to the support of numerous corporate partners, including many individual retailers. Throughout the campaign, thousands of kettle workers volunteer their time to staff the Christmas Kettles.

Here in Red Deer, the kettle campaign funds also support a backpack program, where volunteers fill backpacks with a variety of foods on a weekly basis for kids, which ultimately helps out their families as well.

Meanwhile, Christmas dinner will once again be served at the Salvation Army Dec. 25th at noon. A Christmas Eve candlelight service also runs at 6:30 p.m.

William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army in London, England, spent years as a Methodist minister traveling around the country and preaching. He returned to London with his family, and one day in 1865 he found himself in the city’s poverty-stricken East End. He formed ‘The Christian Mission’ which was changed in 1878 to the Salvation Army.

By the time Booth died in 1912 the Army was at work in 58 countries. Today, the Army is working in about 120 countries.

For more information on assisting with the Adopt-A-Family program, call the local Salvation Army at 403-346-2251.