Unusually snowy winter weather is being cited as one possible reason people weren’t as willing to volunteer for the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas campaign, which fell short of its goal this year.

Christmas kettle donation drive falls short of target

Snowy weather believed responsible for lower number of volunteers for Salvation Army's annual campaign

The $172,854 raised through the Salvation Army Gateway of Hope’s 2016 Kettle Campaign is quite impressive.

But it still fell 30 per cent short the campaign’s goal of generating $250,000 in kettle donations during the  holiday season.

Fewer volunteer bell ringers this year combined with the ongoing foul winter weather were contributing factors, noted Gateway of Hope executive director Emmy Skates.

However, Skates said the local Salvation Army was “so grateful to everyone that donated and volunteered their time.”

“The campaign could not have been successful without our dedicated volunteers, individual and corporate donors, local businesses who provided our kettle locations and the overall support from our community,” Skates noted.

“It is because of this support that we are able to continue serving those most in need. Gateway of Hope is dedicated and passionate in providing others with Help, Hope and Home” Skates said.

Despite the unexpected cold weather, Skates said the Salvation Army’s dedicated volunteers and donors continued to show their support.

Skates said those at the Gateway of Hope “were noticing that people were stepping up to the plate and giving, but not necessarily volunteering their time (to man local kettles).”

Next December, Skates said, the Gateway of Hope will begin its kettle volunteer drive earlier in an effort to recruit more bell ringers.

All funds raised through the kettle campaign go to the Langley Salvation Army’s family services, which organizes a backpack drive for Langley schoolchildren in the fall, and last summer sent 13 kids from low-income households to Camp Sunrise in Gibsons.

Some of the programs and services that benefit from the Christmas kettle campaign include:

The community meal program, which this year alone, served over 109,800 meals to those at Gateway of Hope and in the community.

The Gateway of Hope’s Back-to-School Supply campaign, which assisted over 300 children from grades K-12, with the basic school supplies to succeed in the new school year.

This year the Gateway of Hope provided 350 hampers to singles, couples without children, and seniors, living in the Langley and Aldergrove community.

The Salvation Army Gateway of Hope accepts donations at the shelter, 5787 Langley Bypass, and online at gatewayofhope.ca/funding.

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