The Estevan Salvation Army once again enjoyed tremendous support from the community during its annual kettle campaign and letter appeal.
Lieutenant Brian Bobolo said they raised about $30,000 through the kettles, which matched their goal. Another $45,000 came in through the letter campaign and other donations, which was a little short of their $50,000 goal.
But the $75,000 will be sufficient to keep their programs going throughout the year, he said.
They also received about 5,000 pounds in donations for the food bank in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
“I feel so proud to be involved with the City of Estevan, and to live in the town, and once again this Christmas, people of Estevan have proven that they're always willing to step up to the plate to help their own,” said Bobolo.
All of the donations will stay in the community to help people in the city, Bobolo said.
Funds will be directed to emergency services to help people with food, clothing, household items and other needs when they find themselves in crisis situations; the Salvation Army's contribution towards the Warm Welcome shelter program and the accommodation needs of people throughout the year; the summer camp program that allows local families to attend a camp; and the local Salvation Army's Christmas programs.
The money will also be used to support the food bank, so that clients can have a well-rounded diet.
“We're also increasing the frequency and the amount that we give out to our clients, because of the growing demand on the food bank, and we want to make sure we take care of people,” said Bobolo. “We're able to do that because people have really taken care of us at Christmas.”
The food banks shelves are currently full, Bobolo said.
The Salvation Army is also part of the Community Hamper Association. Bobolo said the association filled about 180 hampers this year. The Salvation Army handled about 30 to 35 of those hampers. The Angel Tree program and the Toy Store were a huge success, as they were able to help out more than 200 children.
This was the first Christmas in Estevan for Bobolo and his wife, June. He said he was very impressed with the support shown by the community.
“I've been in larger cities where I have not seen this much support,” said Bobolo. “For a smaller centre like Estevan, they do more than their fair share for helping the Salvation Army.”
Bobolo said he is pleased to live in a community where he can develop strong partnerships with the residents.