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The Salvation Army hosting festive benefit to ease funding cut

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Fort McMurray, AB. – Tuesday May 7, 2019 – The Salvation Army of Fort McMurray is excited to welcome acclaimed Canadian performer Tom Jackson to its first annual Christmas in June fund-raiser.

This festive celebration will be a key event to raise needed funds for The Army’s overnight All Persons Mat-ter Program and the Community Response Unit. Both programs help look after the homeless men and women of our community by providing meals, beds, health services plus other services and referrals. It will also benefit The Army’s Men’s Emergency Shelter, a dry shelter that assists men coming to our community looking for work.

With a recent $75,000 United Way of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo funding cut to its food budget, The Salvation Army has re-distributed existing funds and increased fund-raising efforts to alleviate the shortage to minimize negative impacts to the clients it serves.

“We are in the business of providing services, not cutting them,” states Major Stephen Hibbs, Corps Officer for The Salvation Army in Fort McMurray. “For anyone who has ever been truly hungry and cold, and felt like there is nowhere for them to go, it is always such a comfort knowing there is someone out there to give you a warm meal, a safe place to rest your head, or simply a listening and caring ear.”

In 2018, the shelter had 8,025 occupied beds and the mat program had 11,150. The Army served over 21,000 meals, and the weekend and holiday soup kitchens served 5,543 meals. The Army’s kitchen also provided 3,049 bagged lunches from October to December alone.

“The people of our homeless and near homeless communities are not nobodies. They are someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandmother, grandfather,” said Hibbs. “Looking out for our marginalized and vulnerable community members is what we do and what we will always do.”

Christmas in June is a family-friendly celebration being held June 15 at the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available at: It features a traditional Christmas dinner, festive activities, a silent auction plus a live auction of Christmas-themed baked goods. Santa Claus has also agreed to drop by.


The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada and in 131 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and vulnerable people in your community.