It’s the last day of the month-long fundraiser, which raises money for year-round community activities, along with emergency food and clothing assistance for those in need.
Going into the weekend, the kettle campaign was $35,000 short of its goal of $215,000.
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Major Bruce MacKenzie with the Salvation Army’s Prairie Division said knowing they’re not up to par with previous years is troubling, considering this fundraiser provides significant funding year-round.
“It’s a bit of a challenge,” explained MacKenzie. “We do count on that money and it’s been budgeted for in this year’s budget, so — in a very real sense — the money that we raise in kettles is money that not only will help people, but has already been helping people.”
MacKenzie said the downturn in the economy is playing a critical role in how much people are donating this year.
However, he said the cliché, “every nickle counts,” has proved to be true, considering half of the funds raised so far this year have come from pocket change.
“The change in your pocket helps make change in the community,” said MacKenzie. “Whether you’re looking in your pocket and you think, ‘You know, that’s almost not enough to put in,’ that’s just not true.”
Despite the lower donation numbers, MacKenzie said the amount of volunteers were at an all-time high this year.
He said, at the start of the month, there were around 5,000 volunteer shifts to fill, and now, going into the last day, there were only eight spots left.
Even though the campaign is slightly behind other years, MacKenzie said he still has hope in the Saskatchewan people and believes they will step up in the final hours this Christmas Eve.