Whitehorse Daily Star

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Executive director Ian MacKenzie

Anonymous donor helped Sally Ann surpass objective

The local Salvation Army is expressing its gratitude to the community after it “blew through the goal” of raising at least $78,000 in the annual kettle campaign.

By Stephanie Waddell on December 28, 2017

The local Salvation Army is expressing its gratitude to the community after it “blew through the goal” of raising at least $78,000 in the annual kettle campaign.

In the end, the charitable organization generated a full $96,000.

Included in that was a sizable donation from an anonymous donor aimed at ensuring the goal was met.

Executive director Ian MacKenzie said today he is pleased that volunteers and the community came through in such a major way.

They did so after a call went out in mid-December, as it became apparent donations weren’t coming in as they had in years past.

Volunteers emerged in full force.

All shifts were covered through the last part of the campaign, including the addition of a new kettle at the new Save-On-Foods store as many residents donated what they could when they came across a kettle.

Along with that was the anonymous donation for the amount the Salvation Army was short when it put out the call for help.

“It was a generous donation,” MacKenzie told the Star.

Both the time volunteers gave to stand by the kettles and the cash many Yukoners donated are greatly appreciated, he added.

The kettle campaign serves as the major fundraising source for the organization to operate its emergency shelter. A new shelter – the Centre of Hope – opened in October.

Over the course of the year, the shelter provides approximately 6,500 beds and 72,000 meals to vulnerable residents in the city.

Since the new shelter has opened, there’s been about a 20 per cent increase in the number of people coming in for meals.

The larger dining room at the new shelter helped make for a great Christmas dinner this year. A record 354 people enjoyed the repast on Christmas Day.

“It all went very smoothly,” MacKenzie said, noting how much easier the larger space made it to serve the sit-down dinner to its clients.

With space for just 40 diners in the old shelter, it could often mean those coming in for Christmas dinner felt more rushed to finish up their meal so others coming in could sit down for the dinner.

This year, people were able to take their time and relax a little more as they ate.

“The space is a lot better,” MacKenzie said.

He was asked whether he sees making any changes for next year’s dinner.

He said that while “it’s a small thing,” he expects more festive decorations will be on display, as many decorations had not yet been unpacked in the move to the new shelter.

He also said the organization will likely do more work to ensure word gets out about the dinner to all those who may benefit from it, as the centre could have likely hosted more guests on Christmas Day.

Comments (2)

Up 1 Down 2

drum on Dec 31, 2017 at 4:39 pm

I am glad my taxpayers money helped build the new facility and my taxpayers money will pay all running expenses for the next three years (at least) I am glad that the Salvation Army is getting lots of money. I know that local grocery stores give huge amounts of near to end date food. Yukoners are so wanting to stop homelessness. We give and give and give.

Up 5 Down 0

My Opinion on Dec 31, 2017 at 3:56 pm

It is no wonder that it was tough to meet their goals. First the closing of the thrift store was not taken well. Second the HUGE amount of tax dollars spent on the 5 STAR Hotel. As tax payers and donators we are the same people.

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