It was a disappointing Christmas season for the Calgary and Area Salvation Army as their Christmas Kettle campaign fell well short of its goal for 2017. 

The Army set a goal to raise $1.25 million going into the Christmas season but Lieutenant Colonel Larry Martin says, at the end of the campaign, they were well short of that mark.

"We ended up over $375,000 short of our target.  The campaign brought in $874,563."  

Martin says officials with the Army will be reviewing the campaign, as they do every year, to figure out why the campaign came up short, but he says there could be a number of reasons.

"We know people are struggling quite a bit because we had increased numbers of people coming to us for support.  We were short of volunteers for a number of the kettle locations and I'm not sure what would contribute to that."

With the campaign coming to an end, the shortage of volunteers resulted in as much as 45 percent of kettle shifts not being filled, often during peak shopping times.

Even as the Army does its post-mortem of the campaign, Martin is hopeful that the shortfall won't mean a cutback in the services they provide for people at risk in the community.

"We still hope that, over the course of the next few months, that people will consider what they're able to do to help support us.  We really have to do everything we can to help people.  We're hoping that we can continue with the same level of service that we provided last year."

While the numbers were disappointing, Martin thinks the campaign didn't turn out as bad as it looked heading into the final few days of it.

"People of Calgary and areas, as always, responded most generously and the campaign did pick up considerably but we didn't make it to the goal.  We certainly made substantial forward progress from where we had been."

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