Kelowna Salvation Army kettles not welcome outside B.C. Liquor Stores | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna Salvation Army kettles not welcome outside B.C. Liquor Stores

A B.C. Liquor Store location in Kelowna.

The Kelowna Salvation Army will have to find new locations to fundraise for its kettle drive after the B.C. Liquor Store Branch decided there were too many charity campaigns at its doors.

“It did come as a bit of a surprise, we weren’t at the table. It was not a decision made at a local level,” said Major Mark Wagner, with The Salvation Army.

READ MORE: Salvation Army truck goes up in flames in Penticton

For roughly 30 years, Salvation Army volunteers have fundraised each holiday season with the annual kettle campaign outside of B.C. Liquor Stores. This year, the liquor branch decided two fundraising campaigns were enough.

“To ensure we don’t overwhelm our customers with donation campaigns when they visit our stores, we are not approving any other fundraising activities at our stores throughout the holiday period, while our Food Banks B.C. or Share-a-Bear campaigns are running,” according to a statement from the branch.

“We were already fully committed to these important campaigns by the time The Salvation Army applied to use our stores for collections.”

Wagner said he wasn’t upset by the decision that allows other non-profits in town, like the Kelowna Community Food Bank, to benefit, “but it does impact our campaign a bit because those locations were good locations for us and our totals for the kettles are down this year.”

READ MORE: Kelowna comes through for kettle campaign with almost $1M raised

The Kelowna Salvation Army intends to find alternate locations and will ask volunteers to help out there, he said.

This season, the kettle campaign is down roughly $25,000 in kettle cash compared to last year. Wagner noted tapping options have been up by roughly $1,000 but the numbers still don’t even out.

Rising costs with inflation may be a factor why people have been donating less but Wagner said he’s not entirely sure.

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