When the final Salvation Army kettles are packed up at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, New Westminster and the Tri-Cities volunteers should have a good reason to celebrate.
According to Capt. Dave Macpherson, longtime New Westminster Citadel head who's off to work in the Salvation Army's Burnaby divisional headquarters, this year's numbers are positive, but there's still time for a last-second push.
"We raised $358,000 last year and we're on target for $365,000 for this year," said Macpherson. "Our goal is $400,000, so we're a little behind, but with a little push, maybe we can get there."
Macpherson said the 50 locations in the Royal City and the Tri-Cities have been very busy this holiday season.
"Volunteers have stepped up and they'll be there until 4 p.m. Christmas Eve," said Macpherson.
Overall, the Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle campaign has some big targets, both provincially and nationally.
According to Maj. Ken Ritson, divisional secretary for public relations and development in British Columbia, British Columbia had raised $2.8 million by Dec. 21, with a provincial goal of $4 million and a national goal of $21 million.
"The dollars raised through this effort are not only used at Christmas, but throughout the year, as the funds provide resources for our overall operation for the year ahead. We want to encourage supporters to please donate when they see a kettle and help," Ritson said in a press release.
People are encouraged to donate at kettles, by visiting www.FilltheKettle.com or text HOPE1000 to 45678 to make a $5 donation. For more info, go to www.salvationarmy.ca.