The Salvation Army’s annual holiday kettle campaign fell well short of its goal in Manitoba this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic played a part in the campaign’s lower-than-usual numbers, as the kettles –normally set up in malls and liquor stores over the holidays — were mostly moved online and over the phone this year.
As a result, the campaign made $189,527 — nothing to sneeze at, but a far cry from the hoped-for goal of $530,000.
Maj. Jamie Rands of the organization’s Prairie Division told 680 CJOB the disappointing result isn’t going to slow the Salvation Army’s efforts to help those in need, especially as the pandemic is likely to create more Manitobans in need of assistance in 2021.
“We came in a little less than $200,000. The money that comes in goes to many of our different programs to help improve the lives of those who are needing basic supports,” said Rands.
“We will continue to serve. Although Christmas is over, we continue to assist the vulnerable people each and every day of the year.
“We still stand confident that Manitobans will continue to help us going forward to help those in our communities who are needing our services with the basic necessities of life.”
With the pandemic ongoing into the new year, Rands said the Salvation Army will have to continue coming up with new fundraising ideas that don’t necessarily rely as heavily on in-person cash donations.
An attempt at innovation this past holiday season, he said, was stymied by tech problems.
“We came up with a tip-tap option for this year for giving at the kettle locations, but unfortunately we had some difficulty with the LTE mobile network here in Manitoba. It hurt us a little in that respect, but significantly this year with the pandemic restrictions.
“We will have to fundraise, (so) we’ll have to be innovative moving forward.”