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Saint John Salvation Army looks to raise nearly $70,000 in final days of Christmas Kettle campaign

Click to play video 'Saint John Salvation Army still almost $70,000 short in Christmas Kettle Campaign' Saint John Salvation Army still almost $70,000 short in Christmas Kettle Campaign
WATCH: With less than forty-eight hours to go, the Saint John Salvation Army hopes people can dig a little deeper into their pockets at an important time of year. Andrew Cromwell has more – Dec 23, 2019

The head of the Salvation Army in Saint John is hoping local residents will be able to dig a little deeper into their pockets over the next two days to help the organization reach its Christmas Kettle campaign goal.

Heading into Monday, Major Orest Goyak said the Saint John campaign had officially raised just over $132,000, still more than $60,000 short of its 2019 goal of $200,000.

“We’re hoping that Saint John will come through, and every time you pass by the kettle, put some money in, and we’ll get that goal,” said Goyak.

READ MORE: Salvation Army Christmas kettles go high-tech across Ontario

The Christmas Kettle fundraiser is the Salvation Army’s biggest of the year, funding Christmas hampers and other programs throughout the year.

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“In the hampers, there’s toys, there’s turkeys, there’s gift cards for the children,” explained Goyak. Other programs benefitting from the campaign include the Hope Cafe and programs for both children and seniors.

The kettle campaign wouldn’t raise a dime if it weren’t for the volunteers that put in countless hours at the kettles, like Toni Cofield of Saint John.

“This is the first year, and I plan to do it next year, too,” said Cofield. It’s something she encourages others to take up as well.

“They’ll get a good feeling,” she said.

READ MORE: Family in St. Stephen, N.B., takes ownership of town’s first Habitat for Humanity house

In the meantime, Goyak is hoping the Salvation Army’s money counters will be kept very busy until the campaign comes to an end on Christmas Eve.

“Every little bit helps in helping to give hope today,” Goyak said.

The national kettle campaign entered the day at almost 80 per cent of its $21-million goal.