The Salvation Army in Prince Albert has met their goal of raising $100,000 during their Kettles and Christmas Campaign for 2023.
Major Ed Dean said they still had to calculate a few online pledges, and other donations, but they are guaranteed to reach $100,000.
“We are ecstatic that we were able to reach that goal,” Dean said. “We want to say an extreme thank you to our community and all of those that have given time, (and) given monetary donations to boost us to that new (level). It’s new because this is the first time that we have set a $100,000 goal.
“We are excited and pleased that our community has lent us their support in making our goal,” he added.
Dean they knew how generous Prince Albert residents were, and that inspired them to set their goal at $100,000.
“It is a lofty goal, but it’s not one that wasn’t attainable,” he said. “We knew that this is a generous community, a very caring and giving community and it’s one that we knew would support us.”
The money raised will go towards supporting the Salvation Army’s meal, community, and family programs. They also used the funds to purchase toys for families who couldn’t afford any.
The Santa’s Anonymous Program was also very successful and Dean thanked the Prince Albert Optimist Club for supporting the program for the 61st year.
“They had the Winter Wonderland. They had a good turn out there and there was even a kettle there, believe it or not,” Dean said.
Dean said that they had kettles up in several new and different locations such as Winter Wonderland, and Mont St. Joseph Home where they launched the Kettles program for 2023.
“We’ve been to a number of different places. We did some unique things and we’ll try some different things again for next year,” he said.
Other unique ideas included the Klassic Kruizers Ford versus Chevy donation day and the Fill a Kettle Day with ‘Santa’s Long-Eared Friends’ at Walmart, which brought in $1,000 in a single day.
Dean also thanked the media in Prince Albert for helping to get them to their $100,000 goal.
There were also people who volunteered at the kettles throughout the season, which officially ended on Dec. 24.
“We have wonderful kettle workers,” Dean said. “It’s always a challenge. We can always use more kettle workers to because there are many shifts that didn’t get filled. We filled 70 per cent of our shifts, but we would like to see (it) higher next year.
“We can definitely see that the community is stepping up has stepped up in many different ways,” Dean said.
This year, the Salvation Army did not host a food program on Christmas Day, but did run one on Boxing Day.
“There will always be a need and we intend to be there on the corner with the light on,” Dean said.
Dean added that his stand-in (a cardboard cut-out of Dean) has been retired until next Christmas season.
Another new addition was a window display at the Salvation Army on Central Avenue which was built by volunteers.
“If they haven’t noticed these, come to see what the windows look like at night,” he said. “Come on down.”
Dean concluded by thanking the community again and joking about how their work is never done.
“That’s Christmas in a rap and so we are now sitting with our feet hanging up until next year,” he said with a laugh.