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Charities offering last minute help for Edmonton families
Chandra Lye, CTV Edmonton
Published Saturday, December 22, 2012 4:51PM MST
Last Updated Sunday, December 23, 2012 6:24PM MST
With just a couple of days before Christmas those in need are getting a last chance to receive help from local charities.
The Christmas Bureau has gathered up several charities under one roof.
“We have all three Christmas charities here today,” the Bureau’s executive director, Wendy Batty said.
“We have the Christmas Bureau providing gift cards so people can buy groceries. We have Santas Anonymous toys on site for children aged zero to 12 and we have the Edmonton Sun adopt-a-teen program on site for 13 to 16 year olds.”
She said the charities had already helped 60,000 Edmontonians this year but that there were still some who needed a little extra help.
“Many of the people we are seeing in the line-up today and we’ll be seeing here tomorrow never thought they would be here. They thought they would be okay,” she explained.
Batty said the price of rent and groceries has gone up, making it more difficult for working families.
"They have jobs but they don’t have enough to make ends meet.
“It’s a very humbling experience to ask the help of charities at Christmas time.”
However, she said that Edmontonians were a generous bunch and the Bureau had already reached 75 per cent of their goal.
“Many of our bills get paid in January so there is still time to donate,” she said adding people could donate at any fire hall, a donation desk in a mall or even online.
“They have been very generous so far but we still got that ways to go yet.”
Volunteer veteran Eve Corner said the need has remained the same since she started 16 years ago.
“It hasn’t changed really. The need is always there. The need is always the same.”
Corner said giving others hope was what kept her coming back each year.
“We’re here to make sure everyone gets a good Christmas.
“You’re tired at the end of the day but it’s a good feeling.”
The charities last day will be Sunday, December 23 at the Amiskawicy Academy (101 Airport Road) from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Edmonton’s Meals on Wheels program is also looking for some last minute help.
“We had a really strong start this year it was really looking good,” spokesperson Kerryn North told CTV News.
She said the donations plateaued about a week ago but have since picked up.
“We’re pretty hopeful we can get there before the year end.”
However, North said they were still shorthanded.
“We are really in need of volunteers.
“We’ve seen a shortage since about summer time. We usually see a little bit of a dip but we haven’t bounced back from that yet.”
To help out visit the organization’s website at MealsonWheelsedmonton.org.
With files from Amanda Anderson