The Albany Salvation Army is calling on the public to dig deep this festive season to support people and families across the Great Southern region. With the launch of their annual Christmas appeal, the Albany Salvos hope to raise $10,000 to help locals in need over the holiday period. Auxiliary lieutenant Colette Albino said they expect to see an increase in the number of people needing support this year. “Christmas is always the busiest time of the year for the Salvos but add a turbulent year with drastic increases to the cost of living and we’re expecting even more individuals and families will need support so that no one is left in need and no child goes without a gift on Christmas Day,” she said. “If you can afford to lend a hand or make a donation, you’ll be making a huge difference to those locals who are really struggling.” The Salvos will be involved in a number of events this year, including the annual Bikers Charity Ride, a Christmas Carol Service with the Albany City Band, and an Evening of Brass with the Silver Threads and Albany City Band. Ms Albino said it was important to reach out to people during this time. “Leaving no one in need also means leaving no one lonely this Christmas. We would love to see you at any of our events, church services or community programs during the festive season,” she said. “Most importantly, take time to remember what matters most at Christmas — connection, community, friends, and family. “Reach out to people. Spend time with those you care about. And if Christmas is a hard or lonely time for you, remember that your local Salvos family is always just down the road. “From all of us at the Salvos, we wish you a peace and hope-filled Christmas.” During Christmas last year, the Salvos nationally distributed more than 64,000 hampers and vouchers, 26,000 gifts and toys, 130,000 meals, and provided more than 66,000 beds for 10,000 families in need of accommodation. They are particularly in need of non-perishable foods and gift cards for teenagers, which can be dropped off at 152 North Road, Yakamia or 136 Chester Pass Drive. Cash donations can also be made in person at any Salvos and Kmart store, or by rounding up instore purchases at Myer.