The new captains at Williams Lake Salvation Army said they were overwhelmed by community support this Christmas with more than $173,000 donated to assist those in need.
“We received $69,192 from our kettle campaign and $104,715 through donations directly to our office and online,” said captain Sergii Kachanov. “My wife Tatiana and I are blessed to be here and to experience how extremely generous people are.”
Kachanov said the staff at the Salvation Army believe the amount is one of the highest they have ever seen.
There was one evening in December when $30,000 worth of donations came in over five hours, he added.
“It is incredible how generous people are.”
The money will be used to fund several programs including the food bank, meal service, share shelves, direct assistance and monthly hampers.
The need is continuously great, Kachanov confirmed.
“I think some people are migrating from bigger towns to here and I understand why. It is because we have a variety of programs. People spread that information through word of mouth — I think it is easier to access services here than in a big city.”
Having the ability to donate online has helped with fundraising, although provinces such as Alberta and Ontario have more people donating that way, including using the tip tap at the kettles, he added.
Praising the volunteers who helped with the kettles, Kachanov said from the fire department, bank employees and Mayor Walt Cobb, who did three shifts, they were all very helpful.
“We also had beautiful volunteers help with our takeout Christmas dinner,” he added.