They may be off to a slow start this year but Capt. Eric Alcock of the Fort Frances Salvation Army is optimistic they still will be able to reach their goal for this year’s Red Shield appeal.
“The campaign was supposed to be over the last week in May,” Capt. Alcock said. “[But] when we reviewed our total at the end of May, we were shocked to see that we had not even come close to reaching our goal of $22,000.”
Having surpassed that total last year by $1,000, he was surprised to find they’ve been struggling to reach their goal this year.
“We sent out letters to our regular contributors recently and we believe many of them have not responded,” noted Capt. Alcock. “Those people are the ones that have helped us to reach our goal in the past so if they don’t respond, it is hard for us to get anywhere.
“We have also heard from a number of people who said that they have been inundated with charities asking for money this past month,” he admitted. “With each on being so deserving, it is often hard for people to decide.
“Aside from that, I really can’t speculate on why we are struggling this year.”
To date, the local Salvation Army has collected $19,500 but it is still hoping to raise the final $2,500.
“We are really getting very close to our goal and we are hoping that by the end of June, we may reach it,” Capt. Alcock said. “The money we raise from this campaign is important because it allows us to hold our food bank and also serve families who may be having problems.
“This year alone, we have seen an increase in the number of families in need in our community,” he noted. “That demand has increased by 25 percent and that subsequently puts us in greater need of financial assistance.
“Often we are the final port a person has to go to so that means we need donations from the community,” he stressed.
Donations to the Red Shield Appeal can be sent to the Salvation Army,
316 Victoria Ave., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 2C2.