Santa hats, Christmas trees, and holiday decorations in July? The Salvation Army of Fort McMurray kicked off a unique week of fundraising and public awareness with Melissa Blake, Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, officially proclaiming July 13-19, 2015 “Christmas in July.” Events throughout the week included barbecues, a lunch and bake sale, a volunteer appreciation evening, Christmas Kettle collections at retail locations, and a traditional Christmas dinner with silent and live auction. The celebrations raised $41,575 for Fort McMurray's Community & Family Services (CFS).
“The Salvation Army and Christmas are synonymous,” said Dianne Rice, Family Services Coordinator. “We took that tradition and brought it out in July to remind everyone that there is need in our community 365 days a year, especially with the downturn in the economy impacting so many individuals and families in the Fort McMurray area.”
“Thank you to everyone who donated and participated in Christmas in July,” added Joan Nobles, Program Manager, “And thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this event a success. Our Christmas banquet was sold out and the support we received throughout the week was just outstanding.”
In 2014, Fort McMurray CFS provided service to 5000 individuals by assisting with rent and utility arrears, security deposits, clothing, school fees, work boots, employment safety courses, and medical appointments and prescriptions.