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The Salvation Army needs our help

The Salvation Army is sending out an urgent request for more donations as Christmas is just a week away and they are nowhere near their financial goal for 2013.

“We are $95,000 behind from this same day last year,” shares Major Ron Cartmell of the Kelowna Salvation Army.

”Out of the $700,000 we need, we are just now at the $375,000 mark, so just barely over half way and there is really only one week left, so we are just trying to get the message out that we need the help of the community.”

Last year at this point, December 18, the Salvation Army had fundraised $470,000, so there is a $95,000 gap that they are behind.

“We are grateful for the support the community has given to the Salvation Army in the past and we don’t take that support for granted but we are just wanting to say, we really need your help,” adds Cartmell.

Approximately 425 families will be getting Christmas hampers this year in the Central Okanagan. Those hampers will serve 1,600 people, including toy hampers that will give 1,000 children a happier Christmas.

The decline in donations thus far from last year to this year are not definitively explainable but the fact the people are carrying less and less cash may to blame.

On a positive note however, online donations continue to slowly increase for the Salvation Army.

“It is actually increasing, people just don't carry cash in their pockets anymore. Close to $14,000 has been donated online this year in Kelowna, an increase from last year's online donations.”

Cartmell doesn't believe the lack of cold hard cash in people's pockets is the only reason for the decline, noting that there are many worthy causes out there and people have to decide where they are donating their charitable funds.

In a recent Castanet poll, the kettle campaign's popularity still appeared high with 76 per cent of respondents saying they did plan to contribute to the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. 

Throughout 2013, the Central Okanagan Salvation Army assisted 6,000 people and 2,100 families with food, household items, furniture and clothing.

Last years fundraising campaigns had the following impressive numbers they hope to match or beat this year

  • $740,000 raised
  • 450 families including 900 children received a Christmas food hamper and gifts
  • 2,100 households including 1,300 children were helped with emergency food, clothing and other much-needed services.
  • Over 425 volunteers provided over 4,000 hours to support the kettles

Kettle volunteers are also still needed to fill shifts on the last three days of the campaign, December 21, 23 and 24. If you are interested you can sign-up for two hour shifts at kelownasalvationarmy.ca or by calling 250-860-2329 x 335.

To donate to the Salvation Army click here or drop some cash at a kettle near you.

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