As the Grande Prairie Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Drive comes to a close, Captain and Executive Director Peter Kim says that as of December 27th, they’ve collected $472,916 in donations.
“Finding volunteers was a challenge this year, but we will always be grateful to those that helped us. They were instrumental once again during the Christmas Kettle Drive. We had volunteers that took on more shifts than normal too, which was great to see,” he says.
Even though the Kettle Drive did not bring in as much as last year financially thus far, Kim says that in terms of food donations he noticed a huge difference in 2021.
“In 2020, we gave out 1,263 Christmas hampers, which includes food and toys. Looking at 2021, we have collected 1,798 Christmas hampers,” he explains. “The need is still there and we anticipate that the need will increase in the coming year.”
A new feature in 2021 was the tap to donate option for anyone that wanted to pitch in and Kim says that it was utilized a lot.
“We replaced the mobile point-of-sale system with the simple tap to donate option. We really tried to promote that option, as well as donations made online through our website,” he says.
The Grande Prairie Salvation Army was also recently named as the Bill Bowes Volunteer Organization of the Year Award and Kim says he didn’t see it coming.
“It was such a surprise and a great honour. To me, that award goes to the volunteers who have helped support the work of the Salvation Army and we couldn’t do it without them,” he adds.