There’s still time to fill Sallyann kettles

Valley residents still have time to dig into their pockets and give to the Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle campaign.

Valley residents still have time to dig into their pockets and give to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle campaign.The kettles come in Saturday at 2 p.m. and Comox Valley Salvation Army community ministries director Brent Hobden says he expects funds raised from the campaign to be on par with last year.”I would think that we’ll come very close to what we raised last year,” Hobden said Wednesday, adding that this year’s goal is $100,000.”We’re about $20,000 short, but this typically is when a good portion of that comes in, so we’re pretty confident we’re going to meet our target.”  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.Christmas Hampers are one of the things the Christmas Kettle campaign contributes to.In 2010, the Comox Valley Salvation Army distributed 768 Christmas hampers. This is in addition to the regular assistance given each and every day through their Community and Family Services office.Hobden said this year the last of the hampers went out Thursday, and he expects the final distribution to be about the same as last year, (750 to 800).However, he noted an increase in families and a decrease in singles applying for Christmas Hampers, which he said is interesting.”It does appear as though we’ve got more families that are coming in that are working but they’re just not able to make ends meet, which I guess is a very clear sign of the times,” he explained.A Christmas hamper provides three complete meals for Christmas day, plus some snacks, and each person under the age of 18 receives a gift.Although the hampers have gone out and the kettles will soon come in, the Comox Valley Community Church at 1580 Fitzgerald Ave. will be open for donation dropoffs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday next week. Or, donations can be mailed to PO Box 3433, Courtenay, B.C. V9N 5N5.”We’ve very thankful to the people in the Valley for the way they’ve stepped up to the Christmas program this year,” said Hobden. “It’s been very successful for us.”