Moose FM’s annual Radiothon for the Salvation Army kicks off Thursday morning.

It will run from 6 AM to 6 PM on Thursday and return for another 12 hours on Friday. To make a donation, call 1-888-646-0123.

“We’ve already had a huge amount of people applying for Christmas assistance,” Lieutenant and Community Ministries Officer with the Bracebridge Salvation Army Kam Robinson says. She anticipates more will need help in the lead-up to the holidays. “People are a little more stressed at this time than they were last year,” she explains.

Robinson says the money raised by the community over the next two days will “largely” go to buy food for people you mean living in poverty or experiencing food insecurity. “The majority of the spending happens at Christmas time,” she adds. It will also help sustain them for the rest of the year. “We buy fresh produce for our food banks every week,” she says. The money raised will also go towards helping people get medical assistance, pay rent and hydro bills, or an emergency stay at a motel.

One of the programs the Salvation Army runs during the holidays is their Christmas hamper. “No one gets turned away (from getting a hamper),” Robinson says. The hamper requires all the food to be purchased since each one needs to be the same.

Robinson says that anyone could fall on hard times. “It could be you or me or a neighbour,” she adds. Robinson notes that rent is high in Muskoka, so someone could struggle to afford rent and groceries. “A lot of people work seasonally,” she points out. When that work ends, people could struggle to make ends meet. 

“We rely on the community to provide for the needs of the people that come to us,” Robinson says.