Salvation Army surpasses campaign goal

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By Michael Bennett
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Ridgetown Independent News 

The Salvation Army again surpassed its annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign goal this holiday season.

The community donated $500,638.41 in the holiday campaign as of Jan. 2, topping the $500-K goal.

“We really appreciate all of the help we received from the community; it’s amazing,” said Maria Wall, employee relations administrative sssistant for the Salvation Army’s Chatham-Kent Ministries.

The total, which is actually down more than $43,000 down from 2022, was still very much appreciated by the Salvation Army.

“Thank you to all our donors and volunteers; we couldn’t do what we do without you,” Wall said.

Of the final total, $338,184.91 came from online, mail and in-person donations, down by $60,384.45 from 2022.

Donations to the red kettles by cash, cheques and tap totalled $162,453.50, representing an increase of $17,061.35 from last year. These donations were up despite not having kettles in Ridgetown and Blenheim, as they were only set up in Chatham and Wallaceburg.

“Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough volunteers and staff to cover Ridgetown and Blenheim, but we still get a lot of donations from both communities,” Wall said.

The funds raised from the Red Kettle Christmas Campaign will go towards the year-long benevolent programs offered by the Salvation Army throughout Chatham-Kent. This includes their food assistance programs in Ridgetown, Blenheim, Chatham and Wallaceburg, as well as their housing programs, which offer financial assistance to help those in need with their rent and utilities.

Funds also go towards kits the Salvation Army provides homeless individuals, including shower kits, towels, blankets and pillows, shoes and socks.

The Salvation Army’s food assistance program allows residents in need to pick up a supply of groceries once a month.

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