It may have been a difficult year but the community still stood behind the Westside Salvation Army.
The non-profit had a goal of raising $255,000 in 2020 but were not able to meet it. But staff and volunteers said the organization may have missed its goal, but not by much.
The Westside Salvation Army raised over $200,000 in cash and $30,000 in gift cards and new toys. In total, this was a new record set for them, according to an officer at the organization Jennifer Henson.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” she said.
“We are thrilled and just so grateful to this community for their continued support. So many people and local organizations have been so generous, and we appreciate it.”
Henson added they want to thank their staff and volunteers for tirelessly working to raise funds throughout the Christmas season so those in need within the community can have a special time during the holidays as well.
“Thanks to the collective efforts of our community, this season the Westside Salvation Army was able to, for the first time, set up its own Christmas toy Store.”
In all, the Westside Salvation Army said they were able to serve 125 families in the city, a 28% increase over last year. They also saw a 30% increase in children and teens in need in 2020.
All donations the Salvation Army received stayed local and were distributed to those in need in Westbank, West Kelowna, and Peachland.
The organization’s Lenetta Parry said the funds are not just for Christmas, but will also be used for programs throughout the year.
“Although the level of need in the community may seem greater at Christmas, the Westside Salvation Army is grateful for community members who continue to donate throughout the year as it allows us to serve people all year long,” she said.
If you wish to donate to the Westside Salvation Army, visit their website.