All that’s needed to tend a Christmas kettle is the heart to help and of course, a warm pair of socks and mittens.
So anyone able to stand outside for two hours in their woolies is encouraged to contact the Trail Salvation Army, because bell ringers have been difficult to find for outdoor locales in East Trail, Canadian Tire and Walmart.
There’s 40-plus shifts left and no one to fill the slots. That is worrisome for the Trail church because two weeks remain in the 2016 kettle campaign, and the Salvation Army is only halfway to its $30,000 goal.
The kettle and mail campaign are the church’s two annual fundraisers that provide money needed to keep family services, including a soup kitchen and monthly hamper program, up and running.
“A lot of our volunteers are older and are not able to man the kettles or can only do it at the mall because that’s the only indoor one,” says Major Ginny Kristensen, corps officer and pastor for the Salvation Army Trail Community Church. “Right at the moment, there’s 45 spots open as of yesterday, so I need 45 volunteers.”
Kristensen says the only requirement is that volunteers are able to stand outside for two hours, although there are still a few shifts open at the Waneta Mall.
“The ones that I talk to just love being able to give back and for a lot of them, this is their way to give back, by helping us,” said Kristensen. “Because they appreciate what the Salvation Army does, so this is their opportunity to help us help others.”
Another perk is that bell ringing can be quite fun.
“The majority of them, when you talk to them at the kettles, they are laughing and happy, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like,” Kristensen added. “The volunteers that are standing outside in the freezing cold, snow or rain like a week ago, they are smiling and joking with the people and just having a really good time.”
Major Ginny encourages all those in the community who can help, even for a few hours, to contact her at 250.512.7400.
“We need help if we are going to reach our goal this year,” she shared. “The kettles and the Christmas mail campaign are the only major fundraisers we do to support Kate’s Kitchen and the food bank.
“The funds raised at Christmas are used throughout the year to provide hampers to our friends and neighbours who find themselves in need of a helping hand at Christmas and throughout the year.”