Volunteers and staff at The Salvation Army Ottawa Citadel are bringing smiles to their neighbours with the creation of 400 care packages this Fall.
The packages were assembled by volunteers of all ages from the church as well as members of the community. Two hundred of the packages were created for seniors and newcomers and contain hygiene products and puzzle games. The other two hundred were put together for youth and families and have hygiene products, toys and games for families.
“Many individuals and families we serve at our Food Bank are facing covid-19 related challenges including job loss, physical illness, fear, anxiety and depression and this is a way we are able to provide some relief from these challenges and bring a little happiness,” said Salvation Army officer Captain Graciela Arkell.
In some cases the care packages are given with food hampers and others are distributed through door-to-door social distance calls to let neighbours know they are cared for. “We knock on the door offering a word of hope and we ask if they would like a care package,” said Captain Graciela. “We just want people to know that we are thinking of them.”
A grant from the Ottawa Community Foundation helped fund the care packages. “We are so grateful to them for partnering with us during this difficult time for families,” said Captain Graciela.
Ten volunteers helped pack the care packages and they have begun distributing them to individuals and families in the community. A number of the volunteers are youth from the church.
Alyssa who is 16 said “Whenever Captain Graciela asks us to assist with projects we are always happy to help out. It’s a great way to spend time with my friends while also doing something positive for families in need.” Her sister Ava aged 13 said “I’m thankful for everything we have, and I appreciate the opportunity to help families that need extra support.” Their youngest sister Rebecca who is 9 years old added “I always like to help out and it was fun to put the packages together.”
Dawn has been volunteering with The Salvation Army for nearly 4 years with her friend Donna. “We’ve been packing food basket every Tuesday morning at the church. We are both in our 70s and we enjoy it very much so when Graciela asked us to help we were very happy to do it. We have been very impressed with the kindness and the work the people at The Salvation Army put into everything,” she said.
To support the work of The Salvation Army please visit www.salvationarmy.ca or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.