Central Albertans once again stepped up with tremendous generosity during the holiday season to help those in need in our community.
Major Larry Bridger with the Salvation Army in Red Deer says their Kettle Campaign for example exceeded the financial goals they set out to achieve.
“Our objective this year was $230,000,” Bridger points out. “We had some late donations that put us just over $231,600. It wasn’t as good as the previous year, but the previous year we had two extra kettle days (32), so that would make up the difference.”
However, despite not reaching their $246,000 Kettle Campaign record set in 2016, Bridger says they’re quite pleased to be able to continue to fund their programs and services from the results of the 2017 campaign.
“Our numbers have been increasing,” explains Bridger. “Especially our school backpack program, it increases every semester it seems. We get a few more children added to the weekend feeding program we have at the schools and we’re seeing more clients come in to our food bank and other services but we set the objective that way to try and meet those needs along with other donations that come in too.”
“We’re not concerned about not meeting objectives as far as people coming in,” continues Bridger. “I don’t see us turning people away or reducing our programs.”
The Salvation Army also hosts a Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day. Bridger says they were able to meet the demand there as well.
“Our numbers were down,” admits Bridger. “Christmas Day, we served 175 dinners. Normally we’re over 200, 210-220 typically but the numbers were down this year and I don’t know if the weather played a part because it was a colder day.”
The Red Deer Christmas Bureau’s Adopt-A-Family program which the Salvation Army works in conjunction with, also saw some decreased numbers this year says Bridger.
“They were down significantly as well but we ended up with 197 family hampers that went out, that’s food and gifts, gift cards and so on,” explains Bridger. “We had 32 senior hampers as well, so a total of 229. The previous year, we had 221 family hampers and 23 senior’s hampers, so again, our numbers are down a bit but we were still able to meet the needs and anybody who qualified, certainly was able to be helped.”
“As always, the people of Red Deer and surrounding area, they come through every year,” exclaims Bridger. “They seem to support us very well and we just want to thank everybody for all of their kind support and trust that everybody will have a very good new year.”
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