The Canadian Salvation Army issued a call to fundraising arms on Dec. 14 amidst a “crisis” of plummeting donations this holiday kettle season.
Donations are down as much as 50 per cent compared to last year in some communities, the charity stated in a press release.
Despite its positive outlook, the Prince Rupert branch is struggling too, Lt. Dawn Butt, Salvation Army church pastor, said.
As of Dec. 14, the local chapter had raised just more than $11,000 — with their annual goal set at $85,000 to $90,000 to see their program continue running throughout the year.
“We have hope,” she said.
This year the Salvation Army has seen an increased need for their services, especially from families with young children. Families have been facing lay-offs throughout 2021 and have seen their housing costs continue to increase, Butt said.
“People see that they need help. They’re not afraid to reach out for it … We don’t want people not to reach out when they truly need the help,” she said.
The charity relies on their Christmas donation request mail out, which typically does “really well”. It is sent to homes and businesses to help raise funds.
Although the Prince Rupert Salvation Army may not yet be close to their goal, this won’t be the first time they faced the odds.
With just a week to go before Christmas, Butt said she hopes the numbers will increase and compared to last year they are fairly status quo for the same time period.
“Things could always be better because our services are being requested more frequently, so we will need more funds.”
“We felt that we were cutting it close last year, and right near the end, the community, of course, pitched right in, Butt said, adding the goal was met.
The public can donate to the Salvation Army at kettles located inside Walmart, the BC Liquor Store or online.
Norman Galimski | Journalist
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