Every year it is like a controlled storm with many moving parts, and like every year before, The Salvation Army has met its goal of providing for the community during the Christmas season and beyond.
The Christmas season is always a busy time for The Salvation Army, and their goal is simple, if someone reaches out in need, they are able to support them.
The Kettle Campaign is an important initiative over the Christmas season that helps fund The Salvation Army's program throughout the year. Anticipating the greater need as both The Salvation Army and its clients are facing inflation, they increased their goal to $50,000.
Major Robert Burrell of The Salvation Army says they met their Kettle Campaign goal and raised $54,254. Their mail-in donation campaign fell a little bit short of their goal but they were still able to raise $47,248.
This year, The Salvation Army was able to help 109 families over the Christmas season with hampers.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation not only to all of the donors, who helped out this year, and they do every year," said Burrell.
Westergard Ford was the site of the annual toy drive, and through community donations, Burrell said The Salvation Army was able to supply all of their wish lists without having to buy toys.
Amanda Courtenay, Family and Community Services coordinator for The Salvation Army says the demand for help during the Christmas season was about the same as last year. She says while they are serving approximately the same number of clients, she says the faces have changed.
“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers, and how people support us all year, especially at Christmas time. The community is just awesome,” said Courtenay.
The Salvation Army itself received a sort of Christmas gift. Last year they were successful in securing a grant from Food Banks Alberta and a couple of days before they broke for the holiday, they received three new upright freezers. This will help them keep the food bank stocked with nutritious food for its clients.
Burrell says one of their goals is to honour the donors’ wishes.
“We try to be good stewards of every penny that comes through our door and we believe strongly in that. We want to make sure it is used wherever the donor wished it to be used,” said Burrell.