The last week was the make-or-break one for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign in Langley.
The annual fundraiser for the Army’s local work, including the Gateway of Hope homeless shelter, was about halfway to its goal of $225,000 in the week before Christmas, said organizer Troy Gaglardi.
The main reason was a shortage of people to ring the bells outside of local stores.
“For volunteers, it has been a bit of a struggle,” Gaglardi said.
The charity has about 160 people on its volunteer list, and could have used 50 to 60 more to really bring up the numbers, said Gaglardi. Ideally, the charity would like as many as 300 volunteers at this time of the year.
There are 20-plus locations across the Langleys where volunteers stood by the red kettles, greeted passers-by, and thanked people for their donations.
Last year’s campaign raised about $180,000, which funded food, blankets, socks and shoes, and programs such as cooking classes.
Getting this year’s campaign up to $225,000 would help firm up the funding for Gateway of Hope programs.
The Gateway of Hope is a homeless shelter for both short-term residents who need somewhere dry and warm to sleep, and for longer-term residents who are working to get off the streets and into permanent housing. Many receive re-training programs as well as help with getting settled, sometimes after years without a permanent address.
The last day of the kettle campaign is Dec. 24, so that’s the last day people can drop off cash, or use their credit cards at a few locations where the volunteers are equipped with tablets and special software.