Christmas donations far exceeded the expectations of the Williams Lake Salvation Army.
“We received two times what we’d hoped for,” Captain Tatiana Kachanova told the Tribune. “We got $113,000 in cash and cheques. It was excellent.”
Instead of the regular kettle campaign, the Salvation Army had its tap-to-give stations set up at various businesses.
The tap program received $4,905, but it was boosted by the Williams Lake and District Credit Union manning a kettle outside the bank for two weeks and Walmart for one week, bringing the total to $10,500.
“We were so grateful to them because it was cold outside when the kettle was at the credit union,” Kachanova said.
Many schools in Williams Lake, organizations and businesses donated food, as well as FreshCo, Save-on-Foods, Walmart, Wholesale Club and Shopper’s Drug Mart, and in 2021 the Salvation Army food bank received 245,000 pounds of food.
Just before Christmas, the Salvation Army served 255 hot Christmas dinners by takeout and gave out hampers that benefitted 537 people, including 238 children.
Kachanova said sll of the programs are up and running at the Salvation Army.
When a call went out to replace volunteers who were leaving due to a mandatory vaccine mandate implemented in for the Salvation Army in November 2021, Kachanova said 14 people stepped forward to fill the vacancies.
“We re-opened the drop-in centre on Dec. 3.”
While the community has been donating generously to the Salvation Army Thrift Store, Kachanova asked that people only drop off donations when the store is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“We have people dropping items off on Sunday but then people go through the items and we have had them strewn across our parking lot and parking lots of other businesses.”