by Stephen Dafoe
It’s only 304 days until Christmas, but a local social media group and a local company are already thinking about the effects the economy will have on local families during the holidays.
Champion Petfoods is looking to support the Morinville Marvelous Moms Adopt-a-Family program again in 2016. The program has grown considerably over the past few years in the number of families assisted at the holidays.
Last year, the company donated $3300 in turkeys, gift cards, grocery cards, and various gifts to help enhance the holidays for local families, and has committed to support the program again in 2016.
“We are proud to call Morinville home and want to do our part in making Morinville a great place to live and raise a family,” said President and CEO Frank Burdzy in a company release.
Sarah Hall, Morinville Marvelous Mom’s Adopt A Family Organizer, said the group was grateful for Champions support over the years. “We received over $1100 in gift cards from [Champion], which we were able to spread out generously between all 30 families we took care of as a whole,” Hall said, adding some of the gift cards were the only gift that teens received.
It was a welcomed contribution as Hall said last year’s initiative had 33 teens on the list.
With the Alberta unemployment rate currently at 7.4 per cent, the highest since 1996, Hall and her fellow organizers have been speculating a lot about the coming year.
“We definitely do expect a significant increase in need and even a decline in donations,” Hall said. “With that comes worry, of course, but we are trying to focus on the solutions and be prepared ahead of time. We realize we will not be the only community program to struggle and will be looking [for] closer collaborations with those groups. Talks have already started in how best we can work together next holiday season to help all Morinville families that need it in the most impactful way.