Members of The Salvation Army Central Okanagan do more than you probably realize.
Yes, they provide meals to those who are hungry. Yes, the thrift stores help provide affordable clothing for those trying to stretch their budget. Yes, The Salvation Army does an annual Christmas Kettle Campaign.
But they do so much more than that, which is why they are looking for a little help as they approach their 100th anniversary of service to the Central Okanagan. The organization is trying to raise $750,000 by June 1, 2019, to pay off the mortgage on their Community Life Centre, which is located at 200 Rutland Rd. South.
“There’s always a need,” The Salvation Army Central Okanagan business manager Donna Thibideau says. “We are always experiencing an increase of those in need. That does put a lot of stress on our resources, and if we can alleviate some of our financial commitments, like paying off a mortgage, it would free up $160,000 a year and save 10 years of interest payments as well.”
The fundraising drive is above and beyond the annual Christmas Kettle Campaign. Thibideau likes to joke that they only need 750 people to donate $1,000 each. “How hard could that be?” she asks with a laugh.
If people knew just how involved The Salvation Army is in the community, it actually might not be that difficult to raise three-quarters of a million dollars.
In addition to the food bank and thrift stores, The Salvation Army also provides an emergency response vehicle for community crises, the community life centre, family services and resources to encourage a healthy life. It has created programs designed to help the community’s most vulnerable get a fresh start in life, like their Daily Bread Program and Creative Connections.
They recently created a Grief Group for those who have lost loved ones or have suffered loss due to natural disasters. They are also starting a weekly dinner—called Sally’s Table—where anyone can come for some companionship and a decent meal.
“It’s providing a sense of community for those who don’t usually have it,” Thibideau says.
There are many organizations in Kelowna and surrounding area that help those in need. The Salvation Army is like a safety net that catches anyone who slips through the cracks. And they strive to work closely with other organizations so that they share resources and complement one another’s services.
“Housing costs have risen a lot in the last year, which puts a financial strain on our lower income earners,” Thibideau says. “Our clients are not predominantly homeless clients. They are seniors, working individuals and families that need help stretching their dollar because their housing costs are so expensive.”
The Salvation Army Central Okanagan is hoping you can help with its overhead costs so it can help everyone else in the Okanagan with theirs—and so much more.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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