Most donations to ServiCom employees will be needed
With many of the laid off ServiCom employees now back at work, some are now asking what will happen to all of the money and goods raised to support them.
It was an inspiring display of community spirit during the days of greatest need as many people sought help from the Salvation Army in Sydney.
There was an assembly line of volunteers, dropping off nearly a thousand Christmas dinners donated for families affected by the ServiCom closure.
Now, hundreds have their jobs back, but until they get their first paycheque from the call centre's new ownership, the Salvation Army says there is still a need.
“Many of them are still facing emergency situations where they're running out of furnace oil,” said Maj. Corey Vincent of the Salvation Army. “They need prescriptions refilled. They're getting eviction notices -- which we're dealing with.”
Vincent says more than $80,000 worth of donations came into the Salvation Army.
But much of that was used just to get workers and their families through Christmas.
Now that the holidays are over, he says, they are still receiving plenty of requests for help just in meeting everyday needs.
They will be reopening their food bank to call-centre workers Friday.
“We're foreseeing right now that we'll be using all of the donated funds and there will be no surplus,” Vincent said.
If there does wind up being a surplus of donations, call centre vice-president Todd Riley says they would welcome the chance to give back to the community that helped them so much during their time of need.
“We spoke with the Salvation Army, and they mentioned that there probably will not be any excess funds available,” Riley said. “But if there was, obviously what we would want to do is put that back into the community.”
Riley says one of the goals of the new Sydney Call Centre is to be more community-minded and that they'll do what they can to repay the public's generosity -- even if it may take a while.
“When they do have some benefits, and some excesses left over, regardless of if it's from this endeavour or something else, we're definitely looking to give back,” Riley said.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army says the ServiCom saga shone a spotlight on what they do and the impact could be felt at the kettles next Christmas.
“I hope people remember when they walk by a kettle next year,” Vincent said. “That we can be trusted, and that their money is making a difference.”
Vincent hopes that gestures of goodwill will come full circle, even now that people are back on the job.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.