Sally Ann’s kettle drive falls short of target

Major Hamelin appeals to the community to help them reach their goal

The bells of the Mount Arrowsmith Salvation Army’s Christmas kettle drive have stopped ringing.

The month-long fundraiser is over but, when all the collections had been tallied, the bells, unfortunately, didn’t ring as merry and bright.

Major Norman Hamelin said the local Salvation Army fell short of its fundraising target this Christmas. The goal was to raise $100,000 to go toward funding an array of programs in the region throughout the year. The organization also fell short of its goal in 2016, but this year brought in even less.

“We lost two days this year,” Hamelin explained. “One was due to weather and the other one was the 24th landed on a Sunday and the kettles don’t go out on a Sunday. That’s our biggest day, Christmas eve day. We finished with $83,000 and our target was $100,000. We’re down $10,000 from last year.”

The funds raised during the kettle drive pay for the many services the Salvation Army provides in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area, such as the soup kitchen, food hampers and emergency services for the homeless or for those who are about to lose their place of residence.

Hamelin said the shortfall would mean coming up with cost-saving measures to stretch every dollar they collected.

“We have to put a little bit of water in the soup, so to speak,” said Hamelin. “You have to be creative with your finances. You have to watch your budget really close.”

The Salvation Army has put out an appeal to the community for help.

“We want the people to know that we could use a few more dollars to try and reach our goal,” said Hamelin. “People do support the work that we do throughout the year, so in the end, the good Lord knows what we need and He has always supplied for us.”

This Christmas, Hamelin said, there were more people that sought assistance from the Salvation Army than did so last Christmas.

“The need for the services we provide, the demand has increased,” said Hamelin. “Our soup kitchen, we ran a hundred-plus meals a day. In the food bank, we do over 500 people a month and, during Christmas, I don’t have the final numbers, but it’s going to be 700 to 800 families. That’s a lot of people.”

Hamelin said one of Salvation Army’s major focuses is on homelessness prevention. And last month they were able to help some people.

“We were able to find some creative solutions to their situation,” said Hamelin. “We have some people in town that were about to become homeless and we were able to reconnect them back with their community in another province; we were able to get them back home.

“When someone has an eviction notice, or are about to lose their place because they can’t pay the hydro, those kind of things, we can advocate on their behalf and try and keep them from becoming homeless. Once they get into that cycle it can be a real challenge to get out of.”

Anyone wishing to donate to the Salvation Army can do so by going to its adminstration office at 141 Memorial Ave. in Parksville, or call 250-248-8794.

Just Posted

Order in the chambers: Qualicum Beach votes for council code of conduct

Coun. Robert Filmer’s motion passes unanimously at town meeting

Rainbow crosswalk in Qualicum Beach covered in mysterious black substance

‘It was disappointing to see this act of disrespect take place inside our community’

Oceanside RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Nanoose Bay’s Northwest Bay Road again open to the public

Single-lane alternating traffic expected to stretch into September

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

$5-million lotto ticket sold in Nanaimo

Someone matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s 6/49 draw

UPDATE: B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says he was ‘tackled’ and ‘stabbed’ in apartment

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Province funds new shuttle buses for 13 B.C. senior centres

Activity, socializing helps maintain health, Adrian Dix says

Most Read