FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Salvation Army says that though donations and volunteers have increased for their Kettle campaign, with two days left, they are still well short of their fundraising goal this season.
The Salvation Army’s Kettle campaign runs every year from November 24th to December 24th. Capt. Sheldon Feener with the Salvation Army says that though more volunteers have stepped up to fill vacant shifts at the kettles in recent weeks, they are still between $12,000 and $15,000 short of their goal this year. “It’s been a tough year for the city as a whole, it’s been a tough year in general,” said Feener. “It’s been difficult, I know not only for us but also for all the social agencies. We’ve struggled to find volunteers to fill our shifts. For the volunteers we have had we’re very, very grateful. They’ve been a tremendous help and a tremendous support to us.”
Feener says that since the kettles haven’t out as often as in years past, that corresponds to a drop in kettle donations. Despite the campaign only lasting two more days, Feener says that he’s optimistic they will get to their goal. “This community has never failed and never ceases to amaze me. I’m not going to say that we’re not going to make it. I’d be very surprised if we didn’t, to be honest.”
In addition to their Kettle campaign, the Salvation Army will also be hosting a Christmas dinner on Christmas Day at the food bank on 100th Ave adjacent to the Thrift Store. The Christmas dinner will start at 6:00 p.m. with the doors opening at 5:45 p.m. The Salvation Army food bank will be closed from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day, but Feener says that the dining room will still be open to provide those in need with a place to warm up with snacks and coffee. The food bank is also fully stocked, although Feener says that they are still in need of meats and fresh produce. Though closed, the food bank will be able to take donations before they reopen next week.