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Deltassist sees increasing need each year for their Christmas assistance program

This last Christmas, they were able to help 1,139 adults and 1,014 children

Through the generosity of the Delta community and Deltassist’s dedication to serve those needing assistance during the holiday season, the non-profit organization helped more than 2,000 individuals this last Christmas season.

Deltassist served a total of 1,139 adults and 1,014 children, which is up from last year’s totals of 1,063 adults and 951 children.

All the effects of the pandemic, like job instability and food insecurity, in combination with a rising cost of living, could be an explanation for continually increasing numbers of people applying for assistance during the holidays, explains Julie Chadwick, executive director at Deltassist.

“Things are, I would say, somewhat precarious [for folks] right now. It’s kind of like a house of cards, where you move something that is not as stable as you’d like, and it has all these other effects, and I think we’re seeing that across the board,” she said. “We’re seeing it with the significant increase in referrals to our substance use program, to our domestic violence program.”

The holiday season can, too frequently, compound issues that families are already facing.

“Christmas is not always the best time for people. It might be a sad time – people may have lost family during that time ... People are [also] reminded that maybe they’re not in the best financial position and they’re worried about that. They’re worried about their housing, they’re worried about ‘can I make my rent?’” says Chadwick.

During these trying times, it’s more important than ever to show each other kindness and compassion, even in the small ways, she stresses.

Deltassist is very grateful for the community’s continued generosity and support.

“They have such huge hearts, [people in the Delta community], and it really makes our job that much easier,” says Chadwick.

This coming Christmas, Deltassist is hoping that they’ll be able to hold their usual toy depot and food hampers again if things are better with the pandemic.