The registration process for the Salvation Army South Muskoka Ministries’ Christmas hamper program is underway.
April Keeping, Lt. for the Salvation Army and Core Officer for the Bracebridge Community Church, says registration is open between 1 to 4:30 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 456 Manitoba St. for those who live in Bracebridge, Muskoka Lakes, Port Carling, Windermere, Port Sandfield, Minett, Milford Bay, or Baysville.
Keeping says you can also call 705-645-2602, extension 1, to book a hamper.
Meanwhile, registration for the Gravenhurst area is from 1 to 3:30 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 620 Muskoka Rd. N. Those signing up must live in Gravenhurst, Severn Bridge, Bala, Walker’s Point, Torrance, or Kilworthy.
For that area, the number is call to book a hamper is 705-687-2131.
“The Christmas hampers have a long history behind them,” Keeping explains. “It helps everyone have a wonderful Christmas dinner.”
They include a turkey, side dishes, and treats. She adds that they also distribute toys for families with children 18 and under.
The last day to register is Dec. 8. The hampers will be handed out starting on Dec. 19.
Keeping says they will also be hosting a food drive on Nov. 28. “From what we hear, it’s been a really wonderful event,” she adds.
Food donations can be dropped off on the day starting at 7 PM at the Salvation Army’s building at 456 Manitoba St. in Bracebridge.
Keeping is new to the position and works alongside her husband Brandon. They took over from Officers Kam and Ian Robinson who left after six years of running the Salvation Army’s branches in South Muskoka. “I keep saying to everybody that I meet that settling into this area is not a hard thing to do,” she says.
The couple moved in with their children in July and were able to enjoy the summer, she says. “Now with the fall colours, it just keeps getting more beautiful,” she adds.