The Grande Prairie Salvation Army is happy to turn the page on 2020 but can’t do so without looking back at least a little bit fondly, as the generosity shown by regional residents didn’t falter despite the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession.
Captain Peter Kim says, while they had record success when it came to their Red Kettle Drive raising just over $605,000, the year felt a little strange as in-person events were all but cancelled. He adds the annual food drive stands out as an event that didn’t feel right being done virtually.
“I actually think that having the physical food drive is a community builder, it’s something that we look forward to every year,” he says. “It helps build community, a sense of belonging, a sense of generosity and health, and we didn’t get to do that this year.”
The Grande Prairie Rotary Virtual Community Food Drive raised $37,000 towards a goal of $250,000.
Kim adds their success this year came down to the generosity of people, adding to what he believes is the new understanding that Christmas isn’t just the one time of year people can give, they can give throughout the year and still help out at year’s end. He hopes 2021 will allow for them to help bend a couple of curves in Grande Prairie, both that of COVID-19 case spread, as well as the upward trend in families going hungry.
“We had 141 new families come and access the food bank this year, so the need had actually increased… and we were able to step up and meet that need based on the generosity of our community.”
To donate to the Grande Prairie Salvation Army, visit salvationarmygp.ca.