Given how many locals have relied on the Trail Salvation Army for help this year, spiritual leader Jessica Hoeft is expecting more of the same need over Christmas.
Reflecting on all those who have been given a hand up these past 11 months, she’s hoping the church meets its $40,000 fundraising goal at the Christmas kettles over the next four weeks, so no one is left behind this holiday season.
“This year, based on what we’ve been experiencing throughout the year, including the summer months, the need is increasing,” Hoeft told the Trail Times.
“And we are expecting it to be the same this Christmas, especially.”
The church’s annual Christmas Kettle campaign will officially begin at Trail Ferraro Foods on Friday.
Bell ringers are still needed to fill shifts throughout town. And, for a second year, Hoeft is hopeful parents and caregivers will sign up to oversee a kettle and show children how anyone can be generous of heart.
“We have to move away from the selfies, and the ‘me,me,me,’” Hoeft, a wife and mother of three, shared. “So we again are putting it out there that we need volunteers, and if families want to do it, that’s a great starting point to help your children learn that giving your time, even if you can’t give money, also helps a lot,” she added.
“And it’s fun.”
The Salvation Army is offering the “Hope Bracelet” this year as well.
Anyone who donates can choose to wear the red bracelet and share the church’s message of hope for the holidays.
“They are meant to be more of a physical visualization about how the Salvation Army is present without really being bold in-your-face,” she explained.
“When you look at it, it says ‘hope.’And that’s the big message we try to get across, that we are giving hope today.”
To sign up for a shift at the Christmas kettles, contact the Trail Salvation Army Church at 250.368.3515.
Last year, the Trail Salvation Army distributed 283 Christmas hampers.
Hosted at more than 2,000 locations across Canada, the annual Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign is the organization’s largest fundraising drive of the year and would not be possible without the thousands of kettle workers who volunteer their time.
Provincially, the goal is to raise $4.5 million to help feed, clothe and shelter individuals and families in-need.
The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, provides shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction.
Over the past year, the Salvation Army provided 7,300 shelter, addictions, detox and mental health beds for vulnerable men, women and families in Canada, served 3.2 million free meals, and assisted well over 1 million persons with food, clothing or practical assistance.