The Salvation Army will have to fundraise all year in order to continue offering programs like the soup kitchen after its annual Christmas Kettle Campaign fell short.
Kettles and volunteers were set up outside local grocery and liquor stores as well as Intersport from Nov. 23-Dec. 24 to collect donations for the Salvation Army’s community programs.
As of January 2, the campaign raised a total of $124,339.25 with $54,031.18 dropped off in the kettles and the remainder coming through the Salavation Army’s mail out and other means.
All funds raised locally stay in Campbell River.
“We would like to say a huge thank-you to our kettle co-ordinators and volunteers for all their hard work to bring in a kettle total that is slightly above last year’s,” said local Salvation Army Capt. Gord Taylor.
“Unfortunately our mail-out campaign did not fare so well and overall we are well short of our goal of $200,000 – the amount needed to continue to operate our Community Services programming in Campbell River.”
Local programs that are supported by the Kettle Campaign are the Lighthouse Soup Kitchen, vouchers for clothing and household asssistance, Emergency Food Pantry which works as a supplement to the Food Bank, the Lighthouse Resource Centre which is used by various community groups such as the 12-step program, and Emergency and Disaster Response as needed.
Taylor said the Kettle Campaign is vital to keeping those programs going.
“These programs require personnel and program space to operate, which all add to the overall cost of providing assistance,” Taylor said. “We are hopeful that we will be able to make up this shortfall through various fundraising initiatives during the rest of the year and are grateful to the incredible generosity of those who have continued to support us over the years.”
The Salvation Army is still welcoming donations, which can be made anytime throughout the year. Donations can be made online at www.salvationarmy.ca/donate or by calling 1-800-725-2769.