Red Deer’s Salvation Army hopes to raise at least $200,000 through its annual Christmas Kettle campaign.
The goal was $250,000, but Maj. Kent Hepditch said nobody knew what to expect this year due to the pandemic.
“We’ve been really pleasantly surprised with how well people have given this year,” Hepditch said.
“We’re just grateful to the community for their support. We might even reach $200,000 which would be wonderful.”
He said the Salvation Army will use whatever they receive to do what they can.
Money raised by the campaign goes towards the Salvation Army’s year-round programs and services, meal programs, food hampers, Christmas assistance, and more.
He said as of Dec. 17, about $151,000 had been raised, which was almost as much as last year’s amount around the same time.
Donations from Dec. 19, the last Saturday before Christmas, had not yet been tallied.
While most kettle volunteers wrapped up their work Dec. 12 due to COVID-19 safety restrictions, kettle tap machines remained in the community so people could still donate with debit or credit cards.
The campaign was finishing on Dec. 24.
Kettles have been located at Walmart North and South stores, Bower Place shopping centre, East Hill and North Save-On-Foods stores, Kip Scott GMC Cadillac Buick, Timberlands and Deer Park Co-op stores, Canadian Tire south, Real Canadian Superstore, Parkland Mall, Safeway, and Costco.
Two kettles were also located in Stettler earlier in the campaign.
“In spite of everything it’s been a good year. We’re just really thankful to the community,” Hepditch said.