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Canadian Salvos bring some Christmas joy to remote communities

Canadian Salvos bring some Christmas joy to remote communities

Canadian Salvos bring some Christmas joy to remote communities

22 December 2017

The Salvation Army, together with Air Tindi, flew hampers to needy families in communities in the remote and freezing Northwest Territories.

By Simone Worthing

The Northwest Territories of Alberta, Canada, are remote, isolated and, in winter, extremely cold. The cost of living is high.

Many of the towns and villages throughout the Territories, ranging in population from 250 to 1900, are not easily accessible by vehicle. While most people are employed, wages are relatively low. The needs in these communities are extensive.

This year, as part of the long-standing “Christmas Fly Out Hampers” tradition, The Salvation Army in Yellowknife, capital of the Northern Territories, has provided more than 250 family hampers for eight communities within a 500km radius of the city.

The hampers have included the ingredients for a full Christmas dinner, recipes, a 2018 calendar and the Army’s Faith & Friends magazine.

“This could not happen without the support of the community,” said Darlene Hardy, who is the Ministry Unit Leader in The Salvation Army's Alberta and Northern Territories Division. “The people in these remote communities really look forward to receiving these hampers.

“Three of these locations were within driving distance and arranged to have the hampers picked up. Air Tindi and another anonymous supporter graciously provided the air transport free of charge for the remaining five locations.

“A local food supplier assisted in ordering and storage of the items until we were ready to sort and deliver.”

The program is funded through The Salvation Army general operations, supplemented by a grant provided by the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

“It is a wonderful program,” said Darlene. “Most of us think nothing of going to the local grocery store and making our purchases for feeding our families a nice Christmas meal. It is not that easy in the remote northern communities. In reality, it is something as simple as a meal that can impact others and be so meaningful.

“Next year we are considering including toys for kids along with the food hampers.”

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