Kettle donations are down by $9,000 so far this year compared to 2011.
The Salvation Army’s Caring Place director Darrell Pilgrim is worried programs will have to be cut if they don’t get enough donations.
“It’s the local programs... that the kettle money goes towards,” he said.
While the shelter and cold, wet weather beds are funded by the government, the kettle donations keep local program going.
The money supports the daily meals they serve at noon at the Caring Place, which is accessed by 600 individuals per month, many of them seniors and families. Surveys have shown that 86 per cent of the people who come for a free lunch from Monday to Friday are from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, Pilgrim said.
It also supports the school lunch program, Sonia’s Cradle that helps mothers of infants with formula and diapers and extras for their babies; it also helps to pay for 50 kids to go to camp in the summer.
“It’s frustrating to think we might have to cut some of those services,” Pilgrim said.
Last year, the Salvation Army kettles that are manned by volunteers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows brought in $90,000, and Pilgrim said they had set the same goal for this year.
Volunteers are also needed to ring the kettle bells for two-hour shifts in the community.
“There’s still lots of kettle hours to fill,” Pilgrim said.
To sign up for a shift, call Amy McNutt at 604-463-8296 ext. 104 or email email@example.com.
Look for kettles outside the larger stores and malls in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
The Caring Place is also looking for sponsors for their Christmas families. To sponsor a family, contact Connie McGonigal at 604-463-8296 ext. 112.
The Salvation Army will serve up a turkey meal with all the fixings on Friday, Dec. 14 from 5 to 6 p.m. but the charitable organization is still needing donated turkeys.
More than 300 people come annually to the Caring Place’s Christmas dinner, and the food is usually donated by local grocers and residents.
To donate to the Christmas dinner – turkeys, meal items, or gift cards – contact Tim Sarsfield at 604-463-8269 ext. 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.