The Red Deer Salvation Army expects to reach, or slightly surpass, its $245,000 Christmas kettle campaign goal.
“We are sitting at a little over $242,000 right now, but I know there are some online donations handled through headquarters, so we don’t know what the amount is at this point. There may be some other donations as well channelled through headquarters,” said Maj. Larry Bridger.
He said a final total should be know later this month.
Five days before the Dec. 23 campaign deadline, the Christmas kettle campaign had only collected 50 per cent of its goal.
“It was a little more challenging this year.”
But the community came through again, he said.
“Red Deer is a very generous city. I’ve been overwhelmed at times by the generosity,” said Bridger, who will be retiring this year, so the 2019 kettle campaign was his last.
Money raised by the campaign goes towards the Salvation Army’s year-round programs and services, including its food bank, school meal program, clothing, hot meals, summer camps and seniors’ programs.
“We do have donations that come in year round. Our big focus is definitely Christmas. It is our major fundraiser. Our programs can’t operate without it, for sure.”
Eleven collection kettles in the community were staffed by volunteers. Debit/credit card machines were also available for donors without cash.
Bridger said debit and online donations are starting to pick up across the country.