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It appears a pandemic brings out people’s generosity.

The Kelowna Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle campaign raised a record-smashing $929,000.

The fundraising goal was the same as the previous year — $700,000.

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude and humbled by the support from this community” said Capt. Darryl Burry, lead pastor and executive director of the Kelowna / Lake Country Salvation Army. “This has been a hard year, where at numerous times the financial challenges were very heavy to bear. Once again, the community has stepped-up and supported us.”

Demand for the Army’s services was also up by 61% over the previous year.

For Christmas, 659 local households received support, a 25% increase over 2019, and 1,150 children were provided with toys for Christmas.

“We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all who made this campaign a success,” said Burry, “from the thousands of volunteers who rang bells, sorted toys, counted donations, packed bags, supported the various COVID-friendly Christmas events, to our corporate partners that hosted kettles/events and so much more.

The Army’s charity work continues in January.

The Westside Salvation Army also had a record-setting Christmas campaign raising $200,000 in cash and $30,000 in gift cards. Its hampers helped 125 families while 286 children received gifts for Christmas.