Saly Ann Kettle Campaign needs volunteers

The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign kicks off Saturday.

The Salvation Army has been active in the Comox Valley since 1964 and the Christmas Kettle Campaign is their main fundraising event for the year.

Funds generated through the Christmas Campaign help support their work in the community, not only at Christmas, but year round.

The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle dates back to December of 1891, when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee borrowed a waterfront crab pot and tripod and placed it in a busy San Francisco intersection in hopes that people would give enough to help him keep a homeless shelter open. Little did he know that he was beginning a tradition which would spread throughout the world.

In 2010, The Salvation Army in the Comox Valley distributed 768 Christmas Hampers. This is in addition to the regular assistance given each and every day through their Community and Family Services office.

“Each year, the needs just seem to grow,” says Pastor Darryl Burry. “There are a lot of hurting people in our community — people who struggle financially to make it through the day — wondering if they will pay their rent/mortgage, or put food on the table for their family. These are very real concerns for many individuals and families right here in the Valley.”

The Salvation Army’s year round assistance to families of emergency food, clothing, furniture and other provisions continues to rise. In addition, their Emergency Homeless Shelter continues to experience an increase in individuals needing a warm, safe place to stay.

“The needs are great, and we do not see any sign of it slowing down in the near future,” says Pastor Burry. “While many talk about the worst of the economic recession being over, there are still many who are feeling the crunch every single day.”

The Christmas Kettle Campaign is in need of volunteers who can stand on a kettle from as little as a two hour shift, to covering an entire day.

“There are many individuals, service groups and even local businesses who have helped us in the past, and we look forward to being able to partner with them, and many more as we strive to provide hope this Christmas season and year round.”

Over the past two years, some local girls soccer teams, local hockey teams and the Credit Union on Ryan Road sparked a competition to get others to show their support by volunteering their time.

It is the hope that the trend would continue, and that not only would last year’s volunteers sign up again, but that many new volunteers would commit to as little as a two hour shift, or will volunteer for several shifts throughout the campaign.

Please consider not only reaching into your pocket for loose change and bills, but giving some time, (one of our greatest gifts!) for a great cause.

For more information, contact Christmas Kettle co-ordinator Dawn Nickerson at 250-338-6200. The Campaign kickoff celebration is this Saturday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Quality Foods locations in Comox and Courtenay.  Come and enjoy a free hot dog and make a donation to the Christmas Kettle Campaign.

The Salvation Army Christmas Kettles will be out in the community until Dec. 24.

— Salvation Army

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