The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries is thankful to the community after breaking a fundraising record during the annual Christmas kettle campaign.
This year the organization raised more than $138,000 – an amount Amelia Norrie, fundraising coordinator with the local charity, has never before seen.
“Considering our goal was $90,000 that’s absolutely tremendous,” said Norrie, who didn’t anticipate coming close to their goal because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and how many people were struggling.
However, she said, the community really stepped up.
“We’re really, really pleased with just how many people stepped up this year – in terms of businesses taking on kettle shifts, businesses making corporate donations and individuals making sure we had those kettle shifts filled – because without that we don’t make money,” noted Norrie.
Around 300 individuals volunteered for kettle shifts this year.
Last year the organization raised around $82,000 and in previous years the goal has been around $95,000 and $90,000.
And, Norrie said, it’s been around five years since they have even been able to meet their target goal.
Norrie attributed their success to businesses like the Royal Bank of Canada, Centra Lawyers and Staples, that hosted kettles; Canadian Tire that did point-of-sale donations; and Whonnock Roofing whose staff took on multiple shifts over the weeks leading up to Christmas.
And having the ability this year to do contactless donations, meant that they went into the kettle season ready to go, explained Norrie. They were ready for those who did not want to make a cash donation or those who no longer carry cash on them.
Donations have set the local organization up to be able to help those extra people this year, who are teetering on the middle class income scale, noted Norrie.
“We can’t anticipate how long this pandemic and the repercussions are going to last. And what the fallout is going to be,” she added.
Money will also make sure staff at the Salvation Army is able to function, has the technology to function and they are in good spirits, Norrie continued.
“And that everybody can be ready to go to help whoever needs it when they come through our doors.”