The Grande Prairie Salvation Army is looking to raise $600,000 during this season’s kettle campaign, which is $25,000 more than last year’s goal. Captain Peter Kim says the goal reflects the increase in the need that the Salvation Army has seen for programs like the food bank and community kitchen.
In 2021, one in five people from Grande Prairie used the food bank, with 44 per cent of those users being youth under the age of 18, and seven per cent being seniors. While overall donations in 2022 have gone down, Kim says that over the years he has seen the Grande Prairie community come together to help those who are less fortunate.
“The basic human need for all of us is food; we do need that, and with so many people struggling I think we can stretch a little bit more and give a little bit more, and be a little more generous to really help those citizens or neighbours get by this year.”
In order to make the campaign a success the organization needs volunteers at different locations around the city, something that is currently in short supply. Kim says that, as of Thursday, there still were not enough volunteers signed up to cover shifts for the first Friday and Saturday of the campaign.
“We are hoping that volunteerism will come back, as we have had two years of stay away,” Kim says. “Now we are hoping that people will come out, make it a tradition again, and get back to normal.”
As long as volunteer shifts are covered, the kettles can be found at the Prairie Mall, Superstore, No Frills, Safeway, Co-op, Walmart, Canadian Tire, and Costco. This year, along with being able to put your donation directly in the bucket, there is the option to use a card to tap a donation, or to text a donation in at 30333.
Along with the kettle campaign, the Salvation Army will also be doing a mail-out campaign in hopes of raising funds. More information on any of this year’s holiday campaigns, or how to volunteer can be found on the Grande Prairie Salvation Army website.