Mayor Tara Veer made the very first donation to the Salvation Army in support of their Christmas Kettle Campaign on Thursday.
The event, held at Bower Place Shopping Centre, kicked of the annual campaign which hopes to raise $230,000 for the Salvation Army, which provides charitable programs and services for Central Alberta.
“Our annual Christmas Kettle Campaign is our major fundraiser for the year for the Salvation Army in Red Deer,” Major Larry Bridger said. “It helps us provide many services, whether it is food, clothing, sometimes furniture, we have a new bed program which provides beds for families in need and we started a program just over three years ago where we assist students at the schools.
“We have over 215 students that we help every weekend with food, which gets them through Saturday and Sunday. That is in 14 different schools in Red Deer that we are helping out.”
These services are event more in need this year, with Bridger confirming the Salvation Army has seen a 15% increase in individuals and families using their services this year.
“Last year we helped 221 families and 23 seniors with our Adopt-a-Family program and this year it will be much greater again this year. We do need support with that program,” he said.
The kettles will be available throughout the City from Nov. 16th – Dec. 23rd and the Salvation Army is currently in need of volunteers to help collect donations.
“They can call our office — 403-346-2251 is the number and you can speak with our coordinator Debbie,” he said. “We have shifts available at all of our locations, especially evening shifts from 3:30 p.m. on wards. If people can help us out even for a couple hours, we would really appreciate it.”
Bridger was appreciative of the support Central Alberta has given to the annual campaign.
“Our citizens have always come through and the last three years we have set records in our Christmas campaign for our kettle goal,” he said. “We anticipate the giving will continue again this year and we want to than people in the area for their tremendous support. They credit us for wonderful work, but we can’t do anything without the support of the people of Red Deer.”
He added, “I want to wish a heartfelt thank you and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.”