Many families in the Ottawa area are facing a Christmas unlike any they have experienced before due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Salvation Army in Ottawa is recognizing the needs of the community by providing Christmas trees and Christmas hampers to brighten the holidays.
The Bethany Hope Centre supports young families throughout the year with a variety of parenting supports, such as healthy food and cooking programs, education support, an onsite health clinic, prenatal classes and a playroom for children. This Christmas season, The Bethany Hope Centre is providing Christmas trees and Christmas hampers to young families.
Sandra Randall, the Executive Director at The Bethany Hope Centre, shares that “The pandemic made things very difficult for many people this year, so the Christmas trees and hampers will bring joy and happiness to end a year of distress.”
The Christmas Hampers are filled with food, including ingredients for a Christmas meal, Christmas cookies, gift cards for parents and children and Christmas activities for children. In addition to the hampers, over 20 artificial Christmas trees were given to families.
“Parents were pleased to be able to have a new Christmas tree this year! It’s not something we are able to provide on a yearly basis, so the trees were a nice surprise this year for families,” says Sandra.
One young parent from The Bethany Hope Centre that received a tree shares her experience:
“Thank you so much for brightening my family’s Christmas this year. With everything going on, my children have been upset about not going to school and meeting new classmates as we are new in the area and at a new school. I’m grateful that there are people with such big hearts out there who are willing to help families in need of joy.
We light our Christmas tree every day, and my girls love it so much. Our last Christmas tree was really small and barely had the decorations and the space so we didn’t really get that cheer and joy for Christmas, but this year is so different and we love it so much!”
Another young parent shares that “We were going to skip Christmas because we couldn’t afford it, but with this tree and the decorations it makes a big difference. It’s the little things that will help make this Christmas special.”
It is with the continued support of those in the Ottawa community that The Salvation Army can 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!
Written by: Heather Prystanski