If you were out shopping this month, you probably saw volunteers ringing bells at stores, sometimes standing out in the cold to collect donations for the Salvation Army‘s Christmas kettle campaign.
This year, all their hard work paid off.
The annual campaign raised exactly $36,460.81 in Yellowknife, the second highest collection of donations raised in some 20 years.
In a city of just over 19,200 people, that would mean that each resident donated roughly $1.89 to the cause.
That level of donations was only beat by the over $39,000 raised in 2015.
Despite being a step down from last year’s record-breaking drive, executive director of the Yellowknife Salvation Army Lieutenant Dusty Sauder says he’s still amazed by the community’s donations.
“It’s amazing. It is amazing,” Sauder told Moose FM. He doesn’t know what sparked the spike in donations, but he’s happy all the same.
“It’s wonderful to know that the community is still supportive,” he said.
Over 100 volunteers helped with the campaign between mid-November and Dec. 23, raising donations outside of Walmart, Canadian Tire, both liquor stores and occasionally at the post office downtown.
With the money, the Salvation Army was able to buy $10,000 worth of turkeys, 15 of which went towards their community feast while the rest went to fill most of their Christmas hampers.
Donations also went towards purchasing fresh produce for the hampers, which were handed out to 270 families in need across the city for the holidays.
For Sauder, the biggest thing he could say to the people of Yellowknife was ‘thank you’.
“It takes a community to come together and help out so that the community can help others,” he said.
The remainder of donations will go towards family services in Yellowknife.