CORNER BROOK — For at least 30 years Glenda Johnson has been giving to the Gingerbread House.
“I did it when my children were small and now they’re all grown and married and got their own children,” said the Corner Brook woman.
“I guess it’s just something I started, and I do it every year,” she said Wednesday at the 31st annual opening of the house at the Valley Mall.
“I just fell in love with the Gingerbread House.”
The house is an initiative of the Salvation Army to provide toys and other gifts for children in need. The project is sponsored by the Valley Mall and CFCB Radio.
Every year since she started, Johnson said she’d do up two packages to put in the house, one for a girl and one for a boy. The packages generally included toys and things a young child may need, like socks, which were often home-knit. But this year, after hearing that items for older children are often lacking she decided to switch things up.
“I decided to pick up a lot of different things for older girls and boys, different things that kids would like.” That included some pyjama pants and Christmas pins for the girls.
She also did something else that she rarely does and that was to attend the opening of the house. Johnson said it’s “foolish,” but she likes to sneak in with the gifts when no one is around.
The house’s opening is always a special affair and this year was no different. The Salvation Army Citadel Band played a few Christmas carols and the Grade 5 choir from Humber Elementary sang.
The event also gave the Salvation Army an opportunity to kick off its kettle campaign.
Kettles will be out at seven locations in the city starting this Friday and this year people have a new way to donate — by text.
“We’ve been finding that a lot of people come to our kettles without money in their pockets,” said Maj. Rene Loveless, area commander, western area of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“And they seem to have a desire to give, so this seemed to be a way that we could enable that to happen.”
“It’s a sign of the times,” and something the Salvation Army hopes people will take advantage of. He especially thinks it will encourage younger people to contribute.
“It’s a $5 commitment, but all the $5 add up,” said Loveless. “So if we can get the volume with this, it will certainly be a great help to our fundraising.”
People can text “HOPE7006” to 45678 to make a donation and all money goes directly to the local Salvation Army’s account and is counted in the kettle grand total.
— Colemans on Caribou Road
— Colemans at the Gardens on O’Connell Drive
— Canadian Tire
— Corner Brook Plaza
Source: The Salvation Army