KAMLOOPS — The executive director of New Life Community Kamloops says the needs of the homeless population are changing, making this year's Christmas campaign more important than ever.
Stan Dueck said Christmas is always a difficult time of year for people in need, but the current overdose crisis has added to the season's challenges.
"We see the needs getting bigger and bigger," Dueck said. "They're changing a little bit because of all the drug overdoses that are going on around the community now. We have to be more aware, we have to be more alert, we have to have more security around. All those costs go up, and without the support of the community we just couldn't do it."
Dueck said 42 per cent of New Life's revenue comes directly from the community.
In addition to financial donations, New Life Community is accepting donations of blankets, socks, gloves, coffee and turkeys.
Staff at New Life Community are also busy preparing for the annual Christmas dinner, taking place on Dec. 24. Dueck said the dinner typically feeds around 300 people.
"I'm sure there's going to be lots of people there, volunteers there, we're already counting on kind of having people who have been getting little gift bags together, and so we expect to have gift bags for everybody," Dueck said. "It really is a happy time for everybody, and it is a time for them to connect with people that maybe they haven't seen for a little while either at a dinner where they can just sit down and talk."
Last year the Christmas campaign raised around $150,000. Dueck hopes to match or exceed that amount this year.
For information on how to donate to New Life Community Kamloops visit their website.
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