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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

71-unit rental apartment building proposed in downtown Parksville

Open house will take place before second reading of bylaw amendment

Construction to begin on new $2M fire hall in Deep Bay

Long-term debt will be financed over a 20-year period

Parksville Royals hurler earns scholarship to Nebraska school

Frank came to mid-Island from Terrace to pursue baseball dreams

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Beloved Parksville volunteer awarded key to the city

July 6 (her 90th birthday) proclaimed as ‘Joan Lemoine Day’

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

‘He was just untying the boats and watching them float away’

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Saanich junior hockey team drops Braves name, First Nations logo

Club moves on after 53-years with First Nations logo

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Most Read