The Salvation Army once again received excellent support from the community for its annual December campaigns.
The Salvation Army received $108,500 in donations, well above their goal of $80,000. The kettle campaign received $26,300, which eclipsed their $20,000 goal, while the letter appeal raised $82,200, above the $60,000 objective.
“Kettles were really different this year, with COVID restrictions, but at the end of the day, it didn’t really affect a whole lot. Our volunteers had to fill out a form every time they went, and we were on a bit of a cleaning schedule at all of the locations,” said Ronza Reynard, the Salvation Army’s community ministry director for Estevan.
The day before the shift, volunteers had to fill out a form regarding their health, and once they arrived for the shift, they had to fill out a form saying they were well and they understood the restrictions.
Kettle locations were also very helpful to ensure restrictions were followed. Kettles were located at the Southern Plains Co-op’s Estevan grocery store, the Estevan Market Mall, Walmart, Clifton’s No Frills and the government liquor store. The Salvation Army had fewer shifts than last year, but support was still strong.
“We had no dropped shifts this year,” said Reynard. “We’re just so thankful to Estevan, because in other locations, the Salvation Army wasn’t able to have kettles out and manned due to a lack of volunteers or the lack of available spots to have a kettle.”
The volunteers did a good job of coping with the requirements of the restrictions.
The ministry also partnered with the Community Hamper Association, which had a record-setting year for the number of hampers filled. The Salvation Army filled some hampers at Christmas for those who came directly to them as well, and they will continue to fill hampers throughout the year.
Donations also came in for the Salvation Army’s food bank in December. There were a number of donations to the food bank and through food drives. Some of the businesses that typically participate in Green for Life Environmental’s food drive made donations, since the food drive didn’t happen in December. Sobey’s donated hampers made possible by customers’ donations.
“We’re going to be ready and prepared,” said Reynard. “Our numbers are probably going to be steadily increasing and being higher than they were last year. We’re ready, and we are just thankful, and the community has supported us and supported everyone.”
All of their food categories are in good shape as well.
“We’ve had donations throughout the year, so you never know once December comes around, since we had donations all year, whether those donors would come around at Christmas time,” said Reynard.
The Salvation Army will start posting their various specific food needs on Fridays on their Facebook page, so people are encouraged to watch.
Money that was raised during the kettle and letter appeal campaigns go to the Salvation Army’s efforts throughout the year. The food bank is closely associated with those efforts, but they also have the back to school backpack program, they send kids to a camp, and they have other programs during the year.