In a year filled with uncertainty and anxiety, one thing remains certain, The Salvation Army continues to support families and individuals in the Ottawa area who are in need.
The Salvation Army’s Ottawa Citadel is brightening the holidays of over 200 local families with Christmas hampers, COVID Care packages and Christmas trees. Captain Graciela Arkell of The Ottawa Citadel explains that “It was going to be a difficult Christmas for many due to COVID-19, but we have been able to bless many local families thanks to the generosity of volunteers, local donors, groups and organizations who continue to support the work that we do. We thank God for each of them.”
This year, Captain Graciela has seen the number of individuals and families receiving Christmas hampers go up significantly. “We have served over 120 families in November, and that number is increasing in December. ”
Christmas hampers look a little different this year, as they include COVID care kits with hand sanitizer, face masks and other personal hygiene items, as well as gift cards to Giant Tiger instead of non-perishable items. “The gift cards allow families to choose their own grocery items, such as a turkey, for their Christmas meal,” explains Captain Graciela.
In addition to the hampers, The Ottawa Citadel distributed over 25 Christmas trees to families. “It has been a joy seeing people receive their trees,” says Captain Graciela.
One local family who received a Christmas tree shares, “Trees are so expensive, we had been looking for a Christmas tree this year and we saw a few that we liked but they were too expensive. We were going to go without a tree this year, so thank you so much for giving our family this beautiful tree.”
A second family who received a tree recently moved from a shelter into their own home and explains “This is the first time in a while that we have our own place, and now we have our own tree to make it beautiful!,”
A single mother with 4 children shares her experience in receiving a Christmas tree:
“My kids had been asking for a tree, and I had to say ‘please stop asking we can’t afford it. Next year will be better’. Then we received a phone call from The Ottawa Citadel asking if we wanted a Christmas tree and it was a gift from God! We weren’t sure if we wanted to put it up because there was nothing to put underneath the tree. But then another miracle happened, and another family provided gifts for my children! Quite a blessing to see God working in little ways.”
It is with the continued support of those in the Ottawa community that The Salvation Army can brighten the holidays and provide these additional services this year, especially in this time of celebration and giving.
When you support The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign, you help brighten the holidays of local families. Donate online at FillTheKettle.com and give hope today!
By: Heather Prystanski