Community support was probably the best Christmas gift the Salvation Army was given this year.
According to Major Ron Cartmell of the Salvation Army, the Christmas kettle campaign raised $320,000 this year; last year $266,000 was raised.
Cartmell added donations went above and beyond Salvation Army’s 2012 goal of $300,000.
“We surpassed our goal, which is fantastic because it allows us not just to continue, but to expand helping families in the community,” said Cartmell.
He noted several other Salvation Army organizations across the province weren’t able to meet their expectations this year.
“Part of the tribute to us making our goal is the community supporting the work that happens here and the high trust factor that they have in the Salvation Army: That we’re going to do our very best to do the very most with every dollar that comes in.”
Perhaps most impressive is that the money was raised during a shortened kettle campaign.
“We made the decision to start kettles a week later this year.
“We didn’t really want to be pushing the season. Christmas comes upon everybody very quickly, we just found if we packed it a little more as opposed to spread it out, it may be beneficial.”
Over 120 businesses, organizations and groups teamed up this year to help out by doing various tasks for the Salvation Army throughout the month of Decmber.
Scotiabank staff were among the top corporate fundraisers. Employees manned four kettles during one day and managed to raise $17,486.50. Scotiabank matched $15,000 to raise a total of $32,486.50.
The Santa Sleigh Bus was also a big contributor, raising $46,300 throughout its time circulating the community.
Kelowna Capital News staff managed to bring in $1,253.50 while serving at a kettle for 16 hours.
The Salvation Army expressed its thanks to businesses and individuals at the second annual Celebrate the Story breakfast Friday.