With only days to go before Christmas, the Salvation Army is reporting that kettle donations are down across British Columbia.
In some communities, the church says kettles are down as much as 50 percent compared to last year.
The Salvation Army relies heavily on kettle donations not only to help people during Christmas, but all year long.
Last year in Trail, for example, the Salvation Army served approximately 17,000 meals between their daily free lunches at Kate’s Kitchen and their mobile dinners, which were served three nights a week during the winter and summer.
Almost 70 per cent of funds raised at the kettles during November and December support food programs like those in Trail. This season, donations are lagging.
“This is our busiest fundraising time of the year and to be down this much at this point in our campaign is concerning,” Mike Leland, Salvation Army B.C. Division, stated. “We rely on these funds and if we do not turn things around quickly, a lot of individuals and families will be missed this year.”
With a goal of $5M in B.C., the Christmas Kettle Campaign enables the Salvation Army to work with struggling individuals and families and provide the necessities: food, clothing and shelter. Donations also support the organization’s other programs, such as substance abuse recovery, housing supports, job and life-skills training, and education classes that help people find a way out of poverty, permanently.
With less than two weeks remaining before Christmas, the Salvation Army is hoping for a strong outpouring of support from the public.
“The Christmas kettle is a symbol of help and hope for those in need during the holidays and a direct way for people to make a meaningful impact in their community,” says Leland. “As people are out shopping in the weeks before Christmas, we invite them to donate at a Christmas kettle — and we’ve made it safe and easy this year with our secure tap-and-go kettles.”
On Saturday, Dec. 18, Walmart Canada will match donations made by individuals to Salvation Army Christmas Kettles located in select stores nationwide up to a maximum of $100,000.