Regina’s Jingle Bus donates $10Okay to Regina Meals Financial institution, Salvation Military

Regina’s charity transit campaign returned after a year off in 2020, to raise funds for two local non-profit organizations.

REGINA — It was a goodwill beginning to the final week leading up to Christmas, as City of Regina representatives gathered at the Regina Food Bank to deliver a hefty cheque thanks to the annual Jingle Bus.

Regina Mayor Sandra Masters presented a $10,700 donation on Monday, on behalf of the city’s transit services, collected thanks to city bus riders who took part in the Jingle Bus fundraising promotion.

From Dec. 10-12, transit passengers were welcomed to donate their fares and any extra coins to support the Jingle Bus. All donations were collected for the campaign, joined by several program sponsors.

“I want to thank everyone in the city who contributed to the Jingle Bus,” said Masters. “When Regina gets asked to participate in things and to step up, they always do.”

The donation will be shared equally between the Regina Food Bank and the Salvation Army Haven of Hope for their holiday campaigns.

Regina Food Bank CEO John Bailey said that the donation will help provide approximately 15,000 meals to clients this season, as the food bank can turn every $1 donated into three meals. 

“It’s really exciting to be able to do that and be able to turn around and get the food that people need to them, especially when it’s a joyous time but also sometimes a stressful time,” said Bailey.

For the Salvation Army, the donation will go towards supporting it’s Christmas hamper program, which purchases gift cards for clients to go out and shop for their own holiday meals.

“It’s great that the city and all the passengers on the transit system have participated in this, because they’re helping their neighbours by helping us,” said Maj. Al Hoeft, public relations officer for the southern region.

Both organizations said that they have seen an increase in clients seeking their services in the past year, following the trend last year caused by the pandemic.

“The length of the pandemic and all the things that have been impacting families have really added to the challenges that individual families are facing right now,” said Hoeft.

The Salvation Army has seen a 25 per cent increase in the number of families seeking assistance since last year, said Hoeft. 

Bailey shared that the Regina Food Bank is seeing similar needs, with a marked increase in clients last year now leading to another increase on top of that during this year.

Both Bailey and Hoeft said that donations such as this one are certainly helping address the community’s needs.

“The community really rallies around and supports one another, and it’s really exciting to know that even in harder times, we still dig a little to help those in our community who are in need,” said Hoeft.

This is the sixth year of the Jingle Bus campaign, although the city was unable to run the fundraiser last year due to the pandemic restrictions. 

Masters said that city transit workers were eager to bring the Jingle Bus back this year, and both transit staff and the public stepped up to prove it’s a worthwhile effort.

“It’s part of the spirit of Regina and that spirit is not just here just during Christmas and the holiday season but all year long,” said Masters.

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