Big push for donations

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Heading into the Christmas season, the donations that the Salvation Army is going to need for food and toys is going up exponentially.

Christmas kettles will be out November 13th and the need to give has never been greater.

The Kelowna Salvation Army assisted 526 families at Christmas last year.

Captain Darryl Burry is anticipating that number will be much higher this year, with around 200 families already registered.

His concern is that people have less money to donate.

“Last year we had almost $300,000 in cash donated and people aren't using cash as much so we know that's going to decrease this year. So it is a little bit of a concern but we always recognize that this community has been so faithful and generous in supporting us in the past and we anticipate that we will continue to receive the support of this community.”

Although operations won’t be the same this year, Burry says any and all donations will go a long way.

“A lot of the Christmas events are not either going to take place this year or are going to look very different simply because of the impacts of COVID. So we still need or require those donations and so if you can help out with events that will be taking place, or through just donating by dropping off at our offices, all of those funds and toys and products are so deeply needed and appreciated.”

People who think they need help from the Salvation Army this Christmas have until November 30th to register.

“We opened our registration significantly earlier than normal this year. Normally it would take place the week following Remembrance Day in November, however given the recognition that there was going to be an increase in need this year, we opened in mid-October,” said Burry.

Burry says the Salvation Army have seen an average increase of 61% in people accessing their services since March.

Of those people, 47% have never accessed their services before.

The Salvation Army has launched a new initiative this year that allows you set a goal and start your own fundraising campaign online.

Go to fillthekettle.com and sign up to be a virtual bell ringer.