The Salvation Army in Saint John is hoping to make up a $45,000 shortfall in its annual Kettle Campaign on the final day of its fundraising effort.
“There’s definitely a need in this community,” said Maj. Orest Goyak of the Salvation Army in Saint John, who says failing to meet the fundraising goal creates the unfortunate possibility of cutbacks.
“Instead of running something four or five days a week, we might have to run it two or three days a week just because the funding’s not there,” Goyak said.
The local branch of the Salvation Army has the goal of raising $190,000 — the organization’s largest fundraising effort of the year.
Locally, it helps operate the Christmas Hamper Program for about 400 families, as well as the daily Hope Cafe and other programs which take place year round.
Community support is vital to the organization, although they are looking for people to commit their time as well.
Louise Delahaye, who has been a Kettle Campaign volunteer for a decade, says it was her first-hand observation of family poverty that moved her to act.
“I was in there one time having a coffee and this couple came in and the wheel fell off their carriage, they were that poor,” said Delahaye.
“I just felt, when I saw that, I thought I really really should do something”.
Keith McLean and his 16-month-old daughter Ruby were among those to drop some spare cash in the famous kettle.
“We like to donate over Christmas,” said McLean.”It makes you feel good to donate. You’re helping other people out”.
He also hopes his example will trickle down to his daughter, even though she may be too young to remember this particular occasion.
“Hopefully they’ll do the same when they get older,” said McLean.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to make a donation into one of the kettles before the campaign came to an end, there are still plenty of ways to give.
“They can stop by the office here, they can go online or they can send it in the mail,” said Goyak. “Either way, the need is all the way through the year.”
The Maritime Kettle Campaign goal is $1.8 million with the hope of raising $21 million nationally.