The Grande Prairie Salvation Army is in need of another record breaking kettle campaign. The organization has set a goal of raising $500,000 by Christmas Day. Lieutenant Peter Kim believes it’s achievable if the community steps up.
“Last year our goal was $430,000 and we had a banner year; we were able to bring in $475,000 so this isn’t much more than what we received. We’re hoping that the community will be generous this year to be able to continue to be able to provide this essential service for food security.”
Use of the Salvation Army soup kitchen has grown from 25,000 meals served in 2014 to 32,500 in 2016. In the same time frame, the number of hampers given out increased from 2,000 to 3,100. Kim says demands for their services continues to rise.
“We’re actually seeing new families coming in, individuals coming in who are trying to find work here. There are circumstances where people get laid off and there are circumstances where people have illnesses, and those contributing factors increases the amount of people who come and use our services.”
To make this year’s kettle campaign a success, many more volunteers are needed. Kim says they’re still short, and encourages anyone looking to help out during the holiday season to contact him. Anyone over the age of 14 years old can take a shift.
“We’re thankful for all those who have volunteered in the past and currently,” says Kim, “but we’re also looking for the next generation of volunteers and more people to come and help and give back to the community. A two hour shift is really actually very enjoyable and fun!”
The funds raised through the red kettles is meant to sustain the Sally Anne for all of 2018. It covers food for the soup kitchen and food bank, as well as Christmas hampers.