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Support helps Picton Salvation Army Community Church relieve pandemic strain on local families

Lieutenants Joe and Donna Ludlow with some of the new trees The Salvation Army Picton Community Church handed out this year, along with Christmas hampers and toys for children. – Heather Prystanski photo

Many County families feeling the strain of COVID-19 this holiday season were thankful for support of the Salvation Army in Picton.

The Salvation Army Picton Community Church worked with several community partners to bring joy by providing Christmas hampers, trees and toys for children. This year, volunteers faced a 35 per cent increase in families requesting assistance.

“This year, we have distributed over 90 Christmas hampers and it shows the need in our community,” said Lieutenant Donna Ludlow.

Christmas hampers included non-perishable and perishable foods, as well as $25 gift cards to help with buying a turkey, ham or other food items. Toys were provided for families with children.  This year, Christmas trees were also available for families in both a smaller 2-foot tree or a larger 6.5-foot tree.

“For those who didn’t have a tree, they were very excited to get one,” said Ludlow, noting surprise by the amount of people that didn’t have a Christmas tree.

“It made me realize how much I take a tree for granted. It was nice to have the opportunity to bless people with a Christmas tree this year.”

Families who received the hampers and trees were thankful for the joy they brought to the holiday.

“My wife and I are helping to raise our grandkids, and this is one of those years where you need a bit of extra help, and I appreciate that The Salvation Army is here to help us, I really do,” said one gentleman who received a Christmas tree.

Another said they didn’t celebrate Christmas last year, as money has been tight.

“This year, having this tree is really going to brighten it up for the kids, and it is helping to put us in the Christmas spirit! It means a lot to me and my grandkids.”

The Salvation Army in Picton worked with several community partners to provide hampers and toys to families.

The Picton Salvation Army Community Church was delighted to receive a donation from the staff at the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital. – Salvation Army Picton Community Church Facebook photo

“The community is so generous and supportive. We have such a wonderful community here,” said Ludlow.

“There was a gentleman who wanted a tree but he couldn’t afford the decorations. Our church put a post out on social media to ask the community to help bring in Christmas tree decorations, and with their support, we were able to give him the tree and decorations to go with it! He has two small boys, and he was going to surprise them with the tree, as well as toys to put under it.”

“It is with the continued support of those in the community that The Salvation Army can brighten the holidays and provide these additional services this year, especially in this time of celebration and giving,” she added.

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