© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Salvation Army kettle volunteer Gerry Stonechild stands next to a kettle station at Superstore on Thursday.
Salvation Army to launch annual kettle campaign on Friday
The Salvation Army will help 600 people this year have a great Christmas.
With Christmas hamper interviews finished as of last Friday, Maj. Rosena Halvorsen said they would be distributed on Dec. 23.
“People aren’t happy with us because we set a deadline…The reason why we’ve put those dates in place, it's because we have to fulfill our hampers and our toys. We have many families in this community that are asking for our help,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of volunteers that help us so we’re trying to get as many together as possible before Christmas.”
She said volunteers are trying to match families’ requests of what their children would like for Christmas.
“We try to match the requests to the best of our abilities and I mean, it’s a lot of work to be doing for close to 600 families,” said Halveorsen. “We feel that we need to set some sort of guideline so that we are able to fulfill those requests … We’re just trying to give us time to put those pieces together.”
Without the support of the community, the Christmas hampers wouldn’t be possible, she said.
On Friday, the Christmas Kettle Campaign will launch and the kettles will be out in the community. All proceeds from that campaign will support the hamper program, as will the Times-Herald Christmas Stocking Fund.
The kettles will be in six locations in the city: the liquor store, Co-Op, Sobeys, Superstore, Wal-Mart and the Town ‘n’ Country Mall. The kettles will run until Dec. 24.
“We need volunteers to man the kettles so we can help make a difference in someone’s Christmas because the money that gets collected on our kettles stays in our community to help us fund the Christmas program, which is our hampers,” said Halvorsen.
The food in the hampers will usually last for two to three days, including the traditional turkey dinner and the Salvation Army is trying to include fresh fruit as well.
The kettle stations will operate 12-9 p.m. Mondays to Friday and 12-6 p.m. on Saturday. The shifts are typically 12-3 p.m., 3-6 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., but Halvorsen said if a person’s schedule only allows for one hour, that can be arranged.
People can do shifts with friends as well, such as doing it for 1.5 hours and then taking a break.
“Any bit of time is appreciated,” said Halvorsen. “There’s always spots that we can fill … We have a nucleus of people that have already signed up for our Christmas kettles and we’re so appreciative to those who have already signed up to man a kettle.
“So certainly we can use as many volunteers at once to come alongside and help us collect the money for Christmas. You can never have too many volunteers. You can always find a spot for them.”
To volunteer, call the Salvation Army at 306-692-5899.
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.