The Salvation Army’s annual holiday Kettle Campaign in Langley didn’t just meet its goals in a difficult year – it exceeded them by $46,000.
The campaign raised a total of $226,000 over December, collecting far more than the local $180,000 goal for Langley programs.
Dan Donkers, who headed up the fundraising efforts for the Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope center, said there were some concerns early on in the season.
“I just didn’t know what to expect going into COVID,” he said.
Some volunteers, particularly the older ones, were not returning, and a few locations for the kettles had to be given up because of distancing issues.
But in general, the campaign went off as usual, with volunteers ringing bells and standing by the red cash collection kettles, and with online donations and even tap-pay stations for credit and debit cards at a few busy spots.
“We didn’t do anything particularly different,” Donkers noted.
Whatever the reason, this year people dug more deeply into their wallets.
“People gave, people were generous!” he said.
Last year, the goal was $180,000 as well, and the campaign made it to $183,000, so this year marks a big leap in fundraising.
Donkers said after the difficulties of the pandemic year, the money will be put to good use.
“It really helps, because we did suffer because of COVID,” he said.
The Gateway of Hope serves up meals to people in need, homeless and housed, every day, but has had to switch to a system of take away meals. The pandemic has disrupted other programs as well, including reducing space for the Emergency Weather Shelter because of distancing requirements.
The Kettle Campaign money goes towards financing multiple programs, including meals, food hampers, and school supplies for families with financial difficulties. The money collected in local kettles is spent in Langley.