Despite three different ways to donate throughout the holiday season, the Salvation Army Comox Valley came up short of their fundraising goal.
Brent Hobden, the community ministries director at the local branch said the organization is more than $45,000 under budget, despite their kettle, mail-in and online donation campaign.
“It’s been a bit of a tough year,” said Hobden, who noted the kettle campaign came in around $15,000 under budget, while the mail-in campaign came in $30,000 under budget (Hobden is waiting on the final numbers for the online campaign).
He explained while it is tough to pinpoint why donations dropped during the past year, he said there are a significant amount of organizations looking for funding, particularly around the Christmas season.
“There’s only so much cash to go around to ensure the needs are met.”
Hobden said while he understands not a lot of people carry cash anymore to donate, the organization has adapted. This is the first year some kettle locations utilized handheld debit machines in order to facilitate donations.
The organization is hoping to make up the budget shortfall through continued donations and through their three Comox Valley thrift stores.
For more information or to donate, visit cvsalarmy.ca.
• • •
While other municipalities throughout the province have removed or closed clothing donation bins after multiple deaths have been reported, Hobden said locally, Salvation Army bins were removed a long time ago.
Earlier this month, three B.C. municipalities on the Lower Mainland banned or issued temporary removal orders for the donation bins after a man died in a West Vancouver bin, and a woman died in a Toronto one in January.
Inclusion BC also announced plans to pull 146 clothing donation containers from sites around the province.
Eight people have died involving donation bins in Canada since 2015, and a major Canadian manufacturer has announced it would stop making the bins until they started out the safety concerns.
Hobden noted they removed the bins citing concerns around cleaning, pickup and loss of life.
Currently, Value Village in Courtenay has a donation bin, but it is located at the front of the store within the foyer area.