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$370K goal for Salvation Army kettle campaign

The Salvation Army’s kettle campaign is officially underway in Grande Prairie. The goal this year is to raise $375,000 dollars between the kettles and its mail out program, which Major Edith Beveridge says would help sustain them for 2016.

“The fundraising that we do at Christmas time actually sees us through for the whole year because it’s kind of our main push. It pays the salaries of our employees and the whole building costs. This year we had some extra costs with our building because a couple of our furnaces went.”

The food bank has seen 30 per cent more use over the past few months, and it’s expected at least 125 more Christmas hampers will be needed. Major Brian Beveridge expects to see the number of people accessing their services continue to grow.

“We see a lot of people beyond the people that we help with our food bank. In our kitchen the other night I was in our soup line and there was young men in there that obviously had been used to working and now were coming to get a meal just to subsidize what they could afford.”

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To help fill out the hampers, the Salvation Army could also use donations of hygiene products and diapers. Family services co-ordinator Kerry Harris says in addition to cash donations, they also need toys for children of all ages.

“We also need gift cards for teens; that seems to be the struggling part of it, not knowing what to get for teens. Some suggestions that I would put out there is the Prairie Mall: with that, they have access to the whole mall; they can choose where they want to go.”

Also popular for teens are movie theatre gift certificates and iTunes gift cards. Applications for hampers will be taken up until Christmas Eve.

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