Darrell Chapman has been ringing bells and volunteering in a variety of other capacities with the Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope for the past five years. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Thanksgiving dinner being served up in Langley Friday

Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope is hosting a meal during the lunch hour Oct. 6.

Some more than others have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.

A team at the Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope in Langley is hoping to rekindle a sense of hope and community for some of the people struggling in this community during the upcoming long weekend.

They’re hosting a Thanksgiving meal during the lunch hour Friday.

This Thanksgiving season, more than 2,500 men, women, children, and seniors across the province will come through the Salvation Army kitchen to receive a hot meal to celebrate, said local executive director Emmy Skates.

In Langley, that Thanksgiving meal is being held at the Gateway of Hope from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6.

“In Langley we’re part of this massive effort to not only provide people with a nutritious hot meal, but with a sense of hope,” Skates said. “What an amazing privilege it is for us to provide this meal and a place of community and support for those in need.”

Historically the holiday is a time to gather with friends and family in celebration, but sadly half a million British Columbians go hungry every day, with a growing number of those being employed, single-parent families, and seniors, Skates said.

“Today, poverty isn’t always easy to see,” she elaborated. “Sadly, a growing number of the people we serve in Langley are employed. This is the new reality of poverty in B.C.”

The Thanksgiving meal is funded by the generosity of corporate partnerships and private donations from the public, she said, noting that the Salvation Army in B.C. has been providing various types of support – including meals – to society’s most disenfranchised – for more than 100 years.

“By meeting needs and giving people hope, we transform people’s lives,” Skates said.

To find out more about the meal, or how to donate, people can go online (www.gatewayofhope.ca) or visit the shelter at 5787 Langley Bypass.

Bell ringers needed

The hunt is already on for people able to volunteer in the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas kettle campaign.

Gateway would like to hear from people willing to ring the bells and collect donations on behalf of the shelter throughout the holiday season, said Krista Hannan, the fundraising coordinator.

They’re looking for people to volunteer for two- to three-hour shifts in any of a number of locations around Langley. The kettles will be set up between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, from mid-November to Dec. 23.

Volunteers of all ages are welcome. To find out more, people can go online, or call 604-514-7375.

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