Penticton Salvation Army sees need skyrocket while community donations are down

Donations down, need is up

Casey Richardson

Hoping to make sure that no one is left behind this Christmas, the Penticton Salvation Army is pleading for the communities help with their two major fundraisers.

Running the Adopt A Family campaign and the Christmas Kettle Campaign has shown how different the increase in cost of living have made donations coming in this year.

So far, 88 families have signed up to be a part of the holiday gift program, and Major Lisa Trickett expects that to only grow in the next couple of weeks.

"A lot of the families that we're working with are the working poor. It's not just the single parents, it is huge. And of course, we've seen the increase of cost of food, the increase of living, and they're just really finding it hard to find a balance in their life," she said. "We're still anticipating at least another dozen to two dozen before the end of this week."

Their team works with the families in need, who gives them their wish list and with their sponsors to be apart of giving back.

"We interview every single family," Trickett added. "We can step in and be a hand up in a time where no family wants to go deeper into debt. No family wants to keep using their credit card to buy things that they can't afford. So if we could find another family that can support them, there is so much more peace and less stress."

The organization is asking for the community to adopt a family and shop for them, or to choose the options of going online and making a donation towards an adoptive family. Any donations amount helps.

The Salvation Army's goal has been to create an opportunity to be a bridge between the community and the family in need.

"The need is greater than ever this year. The kettle schedule is filling, the volunteers are coming out. But the donations in the kettles are just not quite what they were last year, not quite what we would like to see," Mary MacArthur, the Kettle Coordinator said.

"It's affecting everyone this year, and it could be your next door neighbour standing in line at the food bank."

MacArthur added that donations are down by 30 per cent and the need is up by if not the same amount, even more.

Money raised by the kettle stays local to the South Okanagan, going towards the food bank services and programs that are offered by the Salvation Army.

"The need is so great. And there's always someone that has less than what you have and there's always someone that can give just a little more to make life a little easier for that person who is in need," MacArthur said

Kettles can be found throughout Penticton or donations can be made online here.

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