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Sally Ann’s last call

Times are tough for charities, and with Friday marking the last day for the iconic red Christmas kettles, the Salvation Army is appealing to last-minute donors to make their holiday wish come true.

Times are tough for charities, and with Friday marking the last day for the iconic red Christmas kettles, the Salvation Army is appealing to last-minute donors to make their holiday wish come true.

After a 22-day campaign, the Salvation Army in Ottawa is just over $60,000 shy of its $525,000 goal, said spokesman Michael Maidment.

“It’s been tough,” said Maidment. “We’re still feeling the effects of the economy ... It’s been a bit of a struggle.”

The Salvation Army here in Ottawa, said Maidment, has seen an increase in need over the last year.

“We’re seeing more people coming to us for help… we’re expecting that trend to continue at least into the foreseeable future.”

A shortfall in funds raised means less money for the programs that the Salvation Army supports in 2011, which include community and family services like Toy Mountain, Winter Warmth, an emergency food bank and a financial trusteeship program.

“I think there are a lot of difficult choices that have to be made at Christmastime ... When the money comes in, families are choosing whether to pay rent, pay hydro or buy gifts for the kids.

“The programs we have are about giving families dignity. They’re able to provide for their families with a little help from our organization.”

 
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