Salvation Army sees alarming increase of Canadians who have requested support this Christmas and have only reached 50 per cent of their fundraising goal

Little boy in winter coat stares into camera
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With only four days to go, The Salvation Army needs to raise $11 million

December 21, 2020 TORONTO – With Christmas around the corner, The Salvation Army is seeing an alarming increase in the number of Canadians seeking support. In some locations, requests are two to five times higher than last year. As a result, the organization is issuing an urgent plea for donations to help them meet their $23 million Christmas Kettle Campaign goal. With only 50 per cent of the goal reached, the organization is calling on Canadians who can help to consider digging deep, as every donation will give the gift of hope to someone in need.

“This has been a year like no other as our nation has struggled through one of the most difficult and painful times in memory,” says Lt-Colonel John P. Murray, spokesperson for The Salvation Army in Canada. “Thousands of families are seeking support this Christmas—many for the first time due to the economic downturn. The needs are urgent, and we have to act now.”

Since the pandemic began, requests for food, shelter and practical assistance has grown at an accelerated rate and continues to do so. Many Salvation Army locations are seeing the demand for services double and in some areas the number of people needing support has increased by almost five times over the last year.

From food hampers to helping put toys and clothes under the trees of children in need, The Salvation Army is providing practical assistance to those facing significant challenges—many imposed by the pandemic. Last year, 233,000 people were helped at Christmas. With winter approaching and the holiday season around the corner, while we continue to navigate a global pandemic, The Salvation Army expects to see a further increase in need in the coming months. Funds raised during the kettle campaign will help The Salvation Army to assist vulnerable people during the holidays and throughout the year.

“It’s heartbreaking to realize that there are children in our community who don’t have enough to eat every day—even at Christmas,” says Lt-Colonel Murray. “Their parents struggle to make ends meet and can’t afford basic needs, let alone Christmas presents.”

Please give now to help provide food, warm clothing, toys for children, and basic necessities for families and individuals who are struggling this season. You will make a difference. Any amount you give will bring hope and holiday cheer to those in need.

With pandemic-related lockdowns and limited numbers of their iconic Christmas kettles on the streets across Canada, The Salvation Army is hoping that Canadians unable to donate in person will do so online at or by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

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 one of the largest direct providers of social services in the country. The Salvation Army Canada gives hope and support to vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada and in more than 130 countries around the world. Its community and social service activities include: hunger relief for individuals and families through food banks and feeding programs; shelter for people experiencing homelessness and support for those needing housing; rehabilitation for those struggling with substance-use disorder; long-term and palliative care; Christmas assistance such as food hampers and toys; after-school programs, camps, and school nutrition programs for children and youth; and life-skills classes such as budgeting, cooking for a family, and anger management. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.

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For further information:

Neil Leduke
National Director of Marketing and Communications
The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters for Canada & Bermuda
416 578 7998

Linda Leigh
Manager of Communications
The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters for Canada & Bermuda
416 889 0423