Maritime charities in urgent need of increased aid

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Non-profit groups in the Maritimes are launching holiday fundraisers, but there is concern that more people will need help while fewer will be able to donate. Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank in Halifax is collecting money and food for its Christmas Hamper Program, expecting to need as many as 1,000 hampers next month due to a steady increase in clientele. The United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern New Brunswick is holding a Gift Card Tree Raffle to support 25 community programs, as they see a growing population of homeless or housing insecure youth. The Salvation Army Hope Community Church and Family Services in Saint John has set its Christmas kettle campaign goal at $215,000 to help 300 local families, and the Empty Stocking Fund in Saint John is making a comeback after being cancelled last year.

Despite the challenges, the organizations are optimistic about the community’s support. The Salvation Army’s Lieutenant Jason Brinson notes that people always make an effort to give what they can, even in tough economic times. The Empty Stocking Fund is being relaunched in a community-driven initiative, with the Joshua Group managing and distributing the funds. A live telethon has been scheduled for December 10th at Simonds High School in Saint John to support the cause.

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