With only days left to raise money at the kettles for locals in-need, the Trail Salvation Army is only half way to their $40,000 goal.
And with over 350 applications for Christmas hampers this year, which is a significant increase over last season, ministry leader Jessica Hoeft is asking for more volunteers to help out at the kettles this week.
“We have had an increase in our Christmas hamper assistance program compared to last year, an increase of over 70 applications,” Hoeft began. “We expected this based on the numbers of those requesting food hamper assistance over the summer and are happy to be available to help the community during this busy season,” she said.
“We are preparing and packaging the hampers to get ready to distribute for the week before Christmas so families and individuals in need have the sense of peace knowing they don’t have to stress or feel anxious about where their Christmas meal will come from, and can feel the sense of joy and hope being able to provide a present to their children, especially if they have to prioritize paying other bills around this time of year.”
The kettles have brought in roughly $21,000 since the campaign launched three weeks ago. A further $42,000 has been raised through the church’s Christmas letter appeal, which is considerably short of the Trail ministry’s $100,000 goal.
“As of today (Dec 13) we have nine more days of our Kettle Campaign left, where you will see the red stands and volunteers at various locations around Trail collecting monetary donations,” said Hoeft.
“During the remaining days we still have a number of shifts to fill with volunteer bell-ringers if anyone is willing to donate their time.”
For those who can help by filling a two-hour kettle shift, Hoeft encourages a call to the Salvation Army Church at 250.368.3515 to sign up.
“In these cold winter months and with an increase in the needs of community members and families, we want to ensure we are available to assist in tangible ways and ‘Give Hope Today,’” said Hoeft.
“Whether that hope comes with providing Christmas food and toy hampers, school lunch hampers, Emergency Disaster Services or through our daily warm meals at our soup kitchen, we are only able to accomplish this goal through the generous support from individuals and the community,” she shared. “And we are grateful for the support and generosity we have received so far this Christmas season.”
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.