Adopt-A-Family eases stress
The Invercargill Salvation Army is again planning to brighten Christmas for struggling families in the south.
The army predicts more people will be seeking help this year than last.
Pamphlets will be sent out this week promoting the second Salvation Army Invercargill Community Ministries Adopt-A-Family programme to give struggling families an easier Christmas.
The Salvation Army last year introduced the programme, which gave businesses and individuals a chance to sponsor a family during Christmas by providing them with a hamper filled with food and treats. Sponsors could also include gifts.
The Invercargill Salvation Army was in the process of identifying families, who will be matched with volunteer sponsors.
It was expected more families in need would be identified this year after the number of people seeking food parcels had increased. This prompted the organisation to extend food bank opening hours and hire a new part-time staff member.
Salvation Army Invercargill community ministries volunteer Jan Smithies said the main issues faced by families seemed to be medical bills, heating, power, transport and food.
The food bank gave 73 food parcels out last month compared with 65 the year before. It distributed 79 food parcels in August compared with 69 the year before.
Salvation Army Invercargill community ministries co-ordinator Brenda King said last year's Adopt-A-Family programme, which sponsored 64 families, was a huge success. Overwhelmed families had been in tears, she said.
A small number of people had continued to support their adopted families throughout the year.
Mrs King said the aim of the sponsorship programme was to brighten up Christmas for people and reduce stress levels.
"To lighten the load a little for people who are struggling."
It also gave people an opportunity to help out. Seven new sponsors had already come forward, she said.
The Salvation Army will send pamphlets to businesses and former sponsors this week.
Anyone who wanted to be a sponsor could contact the Salvation Army, which is based at 110 Leven St, on (03) 2183094.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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