This year’s Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign in Red Deer topped last year’s record results and then some.
The final numbers ended up at $246,000 – $26,000 more than the campaign’s goal of $220,000.
Funds raised will go to support family service programs, provide year-round food hampers, counseling and senior programs among other services, said Major Larry Bridger of the Salvation Army Church & Community Services.
The funds all stay in the local community as well.
“It was a phenomenal response from the public,” he said, adding he was grateful also to the businesses that hosted a kettle throughout the City.
“It’s the highest ever that we’ve done.” The year prior saw the campaign bring in $234,000.
In the weeks following the start of the campaign, officials had noted a bit of a dip in donations. But word got out, the community rallied and the final results speak for themselves.
“Red Deer is a very caring and generous city – we’ve noted that since we have been here,” he said. “When there is a need, people respond – that’s what we have discovered.
“I also can’t say enough about our volunteers – we had a host of brand new volunteers this year as well,” he said, adding that much credit also goes to Kettle Coordinator Debbie Lang, who has been organizing the campaign for four years. “She’s done such an awesome job.”
Other holiday campaigns and fundraisers were successful as well.
The annual Santa Shuffle, which supports Salvation Army Family Services programs, was held in early December and saw about 180 participants sign on. How much was raised during that event wasn’t available at press time.
Also, the Adopt-A-Family program helped nearly 800 people across the community this past Christmas as well.
Other December events included visits to local long-term care facilities which included a sing-song and the handing out of Christmas packages. Bridger said there were also plenty of volunteers to help out with the Community Christmas dinner which was served at the Salvation Army Dec. 25th.
“The people of Red Deer are to be commended. Their response to the needs has been absolutely phenomenal.”