A scaled-back kettle campaign for 2019 in Whitehorse has seen the Salvation Army raise close to $20,000 over six days.
While past years have seen the campaign raise $50,000 or more locally, the bulk of that went to the Salvation Army’s emergency shelter and meal programs, which the Yukon government took over operations of in early 2019.
The smaller kettle campaign, which saw 75 volunteers stationed at the kettles or helping out with the community meal the church hosted Dec. 20, was done while recognizing the Salvation Army is no longer running its shelter and food program, but continues to have a presence and provides outreach in the community.
“We didn’t want to let the campaign go,” Major Al Hoeft, Salvation Army’s divisional secretary for public relations and development for Alberta and the northern territories, said in a Dec. 23 interview.
The organization continues to offer initiatives like the community dinner which saw 120 people enjoy a full festive meal.
The Salvation Army, Hoeft said, also provides emergency food hampers to those who didn’t get to the food bank during regular food pickup hours, bus tickets to those who may need transportation, and help with utilities for those who are struggling to make ends meet.
The organization continues to operate the Adult Resource Centre off the Alaska Highway.
Given that the campaign was scaled back, Hoeft said there were no formal goals for fundraising as there had been in previous years, but rather officials were hoping to raise around $10,000.
Hoeft said based on what he’s heard from officials in Whitehorse, many who have stopped by the kettles are “very positive and supportive.”
“It’s an opportunity for the community to help their neighbours,” Hoeft said.
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