This year’s Salvation Army kettle campaign brought in a lot less money than previous years prompting concern about the services they will be able to offer in 2021.
About $26,000 was raised over the holiday season compared to about $40,000 last year.
Community ministry director for The Salvation Army in the Bulkley Valley Adam Marshall said they are still thankful with what they did get.
“We are so thrilled with the support we did receive,” he said. “We were down in kettles but up in other areas, so all in all, we are going to be OK, we are going to do our part and find avenues of funding elsewhere for this coming year.
There were less locations this year, making it easier to manage them with health protocols and the ongoing pandemic caused a delay in the start of their giving season.
Marshall was projecting less donations this year than what was given in 2019.
“That was a different year, as you are aware,” he added. “We were able to be out six days a week with seven locations. This year we were down to two locations and were out less days. I think fewer people donated but those fewer people donated more. We feel blessed with their generosity and appreciative of their support.”
Most of the money raised from the kettles stays in the Bulkley Valley and is used for the food bank as well as other services such as programming for youth and life coaches.
Marshall said less money could mean less services in the future.
“Our concern now lies with the need of the community. Because of COVID, we are still seeing an increase in most of our services, that comes with more expenses on our end. Are we concerned? More so, concerned for our communities and wanting to make sure everyone is OK and not struggling but at the end of the day, it comes down to dollars and cents for how we can support and, unfortunately, we will most likely—unless we can find these grant fundings, we risk having to reduce service. But we are hopeful. We have a plan in place to bring us to the middle of next year.”
The local Salvation Army has seen a need for their services double and even in triple in some areas.
“It has been expensive on our end,” Marshall added. “But we are willing to do it and we understand why we need to do it.”