Serving those in need

Christmas is a time of giving and the Salvation Army is grateful for all donations

Lieutenant Stefan Van Schaick cleans up one of the Salvation Army kettles in preparation for the Christmas Kettle Campaign.

Lieutenant Stefan Van Schaick cleans up one of the Salvation Army kettles in preparation for the Christmas Kettle Campaign.

In our community, on average about 100 households depend on the Salvation Army Food Bank every month to feed their families, which is up slightly from last year Lieutenant Stefan Van Schaick said.

The Salvation Army soup kitchen serves between 100 – 120 meals every day, four days a week, Tuesday – Friday. Both services operate from the Warrior’s Song Cafe.

“In a perfect world, Warriors Song wouldn’t be a refuge for the desperate, it would function as a safe, welcoming social outlet for the community,” Stefan said.

“But until then we are here to help and uplift.”

Both Stefan and his wife Laura are amazed and very grateful for the generosity of the community in helping them meet the needs in Quesnel.

“At this time of year, after the harvest, we have an abundance to be thankful for,” Stefan said.

“It’s spring when the need skyrockets and we have to purchase the staples, both perishable and non-perishable.”

To that end, the Salvation Army volunteers staff the kettles at Christmas time at various locations around town gathering donations that will help meet the need throughout the year.

Although ready to meet emergencies should they be called on, the Salvation Army recommends anyone in need call the food bank number, 250-992-7079 and make an appointment. It only takes a few moments and is a more effective way to get the help needed.

Deep into winter, the soup kitchen is at its most vital time of need and Stefan and the Salvation Army volunteers are grateful for every donation they receive.

If people are wondering what is most needed for both the soup kitchen and the food bank, Stefan says they can always use root veggies like potatoes and carrots, canned fish, canned veggies and fruit to provide the most nutritious help to those in need.

But he cautions donors to check the dates on any non-perishable food donations as everything has a best before date and expired food is of no value to anyone.

Just because they’re in need, that shouldn’t diminish their sense of self-worth or dignity.

“These are things we want to promote in all our clientele,” Stefan said.

“If it’s not good enough for you, it’s not good enough for them.”

The Salvation Army Christmas kettles will be staffed beginning Nov. 30 and anyone with a two-hour window and a generous spirit can call and volunteer their time.

Christmas dinner is being served at the Warrior’s Song Cafe Dec. 11. It’s open to everyone and volunteers are always appreciated.

Again this year, the Salvation Army is hosting a Christmas kids party, Dec. 21 with two sittings, 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tickets are available at the Warriors Song Cafe and this event focuses on those in need.

So as you are out and about preparing for your own Christmas, consider

those less fortunate and give generously to the Salvation Army kettle campaign.