West Kelowna  

Westside Salvation Army raised more than $200,000 over the holidays

Record-breaking fundraising

Santa set a Westside Salvation Army record in 2020.

Well, his elves did – the bell ringers who (wo)manned the red kettles and the thousands of people who put money into them.

COVID-19 forced the cancellation of many Salvation Army money-raising events and cut the number of Red Kettle workers in half.

In spite of those restrictions, the Army raised more than $200,000 in cash plus another $30,000 in gift cards and new toys — a record. Almost $130,000 came directly from the Kettle Campaign. The overall goal had been $255,000.

“We did not reach our Christmas campaign goal, however, we are optimistic that we will continue to meet the increasing demand for our programs and services,” said Lenetta Perry. “We had a record-setting year and for that we are grateful. It is comforting to know that we live in a community that cares for one another.

“We are confident that the community will continue to support the work we do throughout the year to help us meet the ongoing need”

The Westside Salvation Army served 125 families, a 28% increase over last year and a 30% increase in children and teens, which means 268 local kids woke up to something special on Christmas morning.

“Thanks to our collective efforts as a community, the Westside Salvation Army was able to, for the first time, set up its own Christmas Toy Store,” Perry said

But the need, especially during the pandemic, never goes away and Parry is hoping the public will shop in its thrift store (101-3531 Old Okanagan Highway), volunteer or make a donation.

Donations can be made safely and securely online at WestsideSA.ca or at the Thrift Store, which is open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All donations support the Westside Salvation Army’s programs, services, and resources available to those in need living in the Westbank, West Kelowna, and Peachland areas.

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