The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign will launch on Nov. 13 this year. Black Press file photo

The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign will launch on Nov. 13 this year. Black Press file photo

Salvation Army Kettle Campaign ringing this year with an electronic twist

The new tiptap machine used by the Salvation Army will be set at $5 denominations

The bells will be ringing again around the Comox Valley this holiday season for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign, however, the way in which people can donate may look a little bit different.

Brent Hobden, community ministries director for the Salvation Army Comox Valley Ministries said due to COIVD-19, bell ringers and kettles will be set up around the area with a new electronic option to donate.

“By the end of November, we will have wireless debit machines -tiptap – where a donor can just tap the machine with their debit or credit card with a preloaded amount.”

The tiptaps used by the Salvation Army will be set at $5 denominations, and a donor can tap up to four times.

Most kettles around the Valley will have the tiptap machines available, and COVID-19 protocols will be in place, including social distancing, mask-wearing and regular cleaning of the machines. For those who prefer to donate cash, kettles will still be available, and donations can also be made online.

Hobden noted the most disappointing part about this year is that volunteer bell ringers are discouraged to have conversations around the kettle and to share and listen to stories on how the Salvation Army has helped various individuals.

The goal for the Kettle Campaign this year in the Comox Valley is $130,000 along with a mail campaign of $160,000.

“We are expected our Kettle Campaign to be down a bit this year (due to COVID-19), but we’re hoping that our mail-in support may be stronger.”

Additionally, the organization will be providing Christmas hampers for those in need, but again, this year’s campaign will also look different. Because of the pandemic, rather than food and toys, everything has to be done with gift cards.

RELATED: Salvation Army moves lunch program in Courtenay but shelter still running

“Guests will be given the cards, and they can pick up what they like in a safe way. It does lose its special touch a little, but the demand is definitely there,” Hobden explained.

He added he expects the demand for the hamper program to be high; last year the Salvation Army provided 450 hampers, and this year they are expecting to hand out more than 700.

Throughout the pandemic, the Salvation Army never closed its doors and adapted their programs accordingly.

“Our stores were closed for safety, but right through COVID, even in March when things were shutting down, we shifted to door-to-door hampers and casework for family services was done over the phone or Zoom. I got to see how people felt abandoned and forgotten, especially those who were shut-ins. They would open the door a tiny little crack and would be so appreciative of the socially-distant connection.”

For more information or to donate to either the kettle or hamper campaigns, visit, visit the Salvation Army Thrift Stores or call the hamper line at 250-338-6200.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The CSRHD board has diverging views on its relationship with Island Health. File photo
Comox-Strathcona board ponders relationship with Island Health

“We have to stand together … to get our share of the health budget.”

The CVCDA Accessibility Project is creating safer ramps at the Courtenay facility. Photo supplied
Accessibility project underway at Comox Valley Child Development Association

Over the past month, you may have noticed some construction underway behind… Continue reading

19 Wing Comox’s Wing Auxiliary Security Force (WASF) will be conducting training at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox and the Department of National Defence Seal Bay training area from April 12-16. Black Press file photo
19 Wing training set for April at Seal Bay, CFB Comox

Members of the public may see an increase in activity at locations in the Valley

The Union Bay Improvement District is holding its AGM April 29 as it looks to hand over services to the regional district. Record file photo
Union Bay board hikes water rates due to operating costs

Board also planning for AGM, transition to regional district service

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

Most Read