Huntsville Kiwanis Club Supports The Salvation Army with Christmas in July

by Caroline Franks
Categories: Divisional News

For the third year Christmas in July returned to Huntsville, bringing in food and financial donations to The Salvation Army. More than two tons of food and $6,500 in donations and gift cards were provided during the two-day food drive that will help The Salvation Army provide essential programs and services to the community’s most vulnerable.

Three local businesses Metro, FreshCo and Bullocks Independent Grocers joined in for a friendly competition to see which location could bring in the most food to support the local Salvation Army food bank.

The Kiwanis Club of Huntsville organized the campaign to ensure no one across the District of Muskoka goes hungry and to keep food bank shelves fully stocked.

“We have individuals and families that we serve on a regular basis. In many cases workplaces are closed and people are trying to get back on their feet. Food is the only thing people can control, so we want to be there to assist,” said Krystal Fuller, Community Ministries Coordinator with the Salvation Army Community Church in Huntsville.

At each store, Santa stickers indicated which products were most in demand and to make it easier for donors to find the items.

“It really brings the Christmas in July theme to life. Santa is vacationing in Muskoka around this time every year and usually makes an appearance at each store on the final day in his Hawaiian shirt, sandals and sunglasses,” Fuller explained.

Booths outside each store had volunteers from The Salvation Army and the Kiwanis Club collecting donations from shoppers. The Christmas in July campaign follows the Club’s Project Porchlight, which brought in 43,000 pounds of food last December.

Kiwanis Club food drive chair Rick Brooks said he is proud of all the volunteers, store managers, and, most importantly, the community for the overwhelming support.

“Awesome itself does not begin to justify the turnout we had this drive, the community support, recognizing the need continues to be there, especially given the effects of the pandemic,” Brooks said.

“The number of people that donated and shared their personal stories of being helped by The Salvation Army in their past was simply humbling. Their willingness to share their stories and give from their hearts was quite evident and truly appreciated by our volunteers.”

By Chris McGregor