The last eight months have been extremely difficult for Canadians, with many having to turn to employment insurance and emergency funds from the government to make ends meet.
As a result, The Salvation Army is anticipating an increase in the number of people in need of support from the organization’s 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign—their largest fundraising drive of the year.
According to a release from The Salvation Army, the number of people in need of support has increased nearly 500 per cent over the last few months in certain areas across the country—an increase no seen since WWII.
Additionally, the number of people who have sought assistance from The Salvation Army due to delayed wages has increased by 19 per cent this year.
Further, those listing homelessness as the reason for visiting the organization has doubled since 2019.
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“This year, we see evidence that the people we serve are struggling like never before,” Lt-Colonel John P. Murray, spokesperson for The Salvation Army, said in the release.
“We refuse to let the pandemic steal their Christmas joy. That’s why The Salvation Army is providing those in need with food, shelter and other essentials. We need the help and support of Canadians who can donate more now than ever,” he continued.
Last year, The Salvation Army helped more than 1.9 million people by providing 3.3 million free meals, assisting 233,000 Canadians with Christmas food hampers and toys, and over 1.3 million with food, clothing or practical help.
This year, the organization is aiming to raise $23 million to provide practical assistance to thousands of families and individuals who have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic.