We are extremely thankful for all those who have given over the last 12 months to support our work either financially or through giving of their time and talents. We could not do all that we do in the Oceanside area without the generous support of each and every donor and supporter. Whether it is a dollar dropped into a kettle at Christmas, an hour given washing dishes, sorting vegetables or skills applied to repair a door or railing, you are contributing to extend the reach of the Salvation Army in practical support to those in need in your community. Our services are accessed by thousands of Oceanside residents each year who find themselves in a place of need and access our food bank, soup kitchen or community and family services for practical and spiritual support. The vast majority of the funds needed to support our work come in during our annual Christmas appeal. This year’s Christmas letter and kettle campaign has come in $44,000.00 below what is needed to equip us to maintain our current level of community services. Although we maximize our utilization of volunteers and donated items in all of our operations, we still have expenses that must be paid including rent, utilities and staff wages to name a few. Although our current donation shortfall will not completely prevent us from continuing our ministry in the Oceanside community, it will impact the level to which we can provide services and may alter the scope of the services that we are able to offer into 2019.
We are thankful for the Food Banks B.C. grants received in 2018 that have greatly supported our food bank programs going into 2019. These grants provided our Ministry Unit with the two new food bank donation pick up vans, the food bank’s new display cooler and freezer, proper height stainless steel sorting tables, a weigh scale to accurately record the amount of incoming donations, as well as additional shelving and sinks. The provision of these items has increased our efficiency in what we are able to do at the food bank and supported our expanded Food Recovery program where we daily receive fruits, vegetables and dairy items to reclaim and provide to our clients. However, as we have expanded the scope and scale of our services offered to the community (such as the Food Recovery Program) we have also experienced an associated shortage of volunteers to support the expanded work. We thank every pair of willing hands that have worked double time and overtime to serve their community alongside us this last year. We hope that if you’ve ever considered serving along with us, that 2019 will be the year that you contact our volunteer coordinator to explore where you can apply your abilities. We look forward to your continued support as we seek to meet the persistent needs in our community in 2019.