The annual kettle campaign for Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries is doing even better than organizers hoped.
“We’ve been astounded by the generosity of the community this year,” said Amelia Norrie, who heads fundraising efforts for the Sally Ann based in Maple Ridge.
She said Monday morning that the holiday fundraiser is on track to meet or exceed its $90,000 goal.
“That’s pretty fantastic, given the size of our community, and the fact that we’ve been living through a pandemic for the past 10 months.”
There have been some standout volunteers and supporters. The staff of Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Community Services took a full day of kettle shifts. Whonnock Roofing has “taken more than their share of shifts,” and the kids of the Ridge Meadows Minor Softball Association have also been keen volunteers.
She noted Canadian Tire have been huge supporters, and have point-of-sale donations for the Sally Ann this year. Then there are businesses such at the local RBC branches and Staples who have taken kettles at their businesses. Having more businesses hosting kettle volunteers makes a big difference, she said.
“It’s awesome to see those people who have (financial security) give to people who may be struggling this year.”
Nationally, the news is not as good. With just four days to go before Christmas, the Salvation Army’s nationwide campaign needs to raise $11 million to meet their $23 million goal.
Demand has increased by as much as five times in some locations this year.
“This has been a year like no other as our nation has struggled through one of the most difficult and painful times in memory,” said Lt-Colonel John P. Murray, national spokesperson for The Salvation Army. “Thousands of families are seeking support this Christmas – many for the first time due to the economic downturn. The needs are urgent, and we have to act now.”
With pandemic-related lockdowns and limited numbers of their iconic Christmas kettles on the streets across Canada, The Salvation Army is hoping that Canadians unable to donate in person will do so online at SalvationArmy.ca or by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).