Donations Shatter $16 million Campaign Goal as Needs Continue to Rise
TORONTO, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - With demand for Salvation Army services at an all-time high, Canadians dug deep this Christmas season, making more than $18 million in Christmas Kettle donations. The Salvation Army continues to count donations made to the 2009 National Christmas Campaign, but already the total has surpassed last year's record-breaking $16 million.
"The results are a testament to the remarkable generosity of the Canadian public - we're humbled that so many heeded the call of their neighbors in need," said Commissioner William Francis, Territorial Commander for The Salvation Army in Canada & Bermuda. "For the past year, we have been challenged to meet an increased demand for our service. Thanks to the support of the Canadian public, we are confident that we can meet this demand."
Current estimates show that client demand has risen between 10-40 percent across Canada. In 2008, The Salvation Army saw demand for services increase at feeding centres, food banks and Christmas hamper drives.
"Given current economic conditions, we don't expect client demand to drop-off anytime soon," said Commissioner Francis. "We will continue to rely on direct public support to meet the basic services we provide to hundreds of thousands in need each year."
The $18 million figure includes only money donated to The Salvation Army's physical kettles. The Salvation Army is continuing to tally dollars raised through phone, direct mail and other sources during the Christmas Campaign season - which runs from late November through Christmas Eve.
In addition to Kettle donations raised on street corners and in shopping centres, The Salvation Army also saw an increase in online giving during November and December. In both months, more than $3.4 million was raised online, an 18 percent increase from 2008. Also, more donors went online to collect money for The Salvation Army's Christmas Campaign. There was a 43 percent increase in iKettle users, making this the fourth consecutive year that the site has grown in popularity.
Also, as part of the 2009 National Christmas Campaign, The Salvation Army relied on a number of partnerships and programs that contributed to the overall success of the campaign. For the first-time ever, The Salvation Army introduced an innovative text-to-give program with mobile technology company Zipstripe. The program allowed donors to text donations from any Rogers Wireless or Bell Mobility mobile phone. The Salvation Army also introduced a new ambient media and advertising campaign, created by GREY Canada. The campaign used online and street-level marketing strategies to communicate a message that poverty shouldn't be a "revolving door" issue in Canada.
Other sustained partnerships grew stronger this year. A network of thousands of volunteer bell ringers gave of their time to stand alongside Kettles, collecting funds for the 2009 Christmas Campaign. Retail chains, including Walmart and Loblaws, made giving accessible and easy by welcoming Christmas Kettles into their stores. And, more than 10,000 runners turned out, nationwide, to raise money for the poor and homeless at the 19th Annual Santa Shuffle Run.
The Salvation Army's National Christmas Campaign helps the Army provide direct, compassionate, hands-on service to more than 1.5 million people in Canada each year, restoring hope and dignity to the most vulnerable in society. The Salvation Army's annual Christmas Campaign has grown into one of Canada's most significant and recognizable annual charitable events.
About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and 119 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.
News releases, articles and updated information can be found at www.SalvationArmy.ca
SOURCE The Salvation Army
For further information: For further information: Andrew Burditt, Territorial Public Relations Director, (416) 845-8231, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.SalvationArmy.ca