Major Wilf Harbin from the Trail Salvation Army readied the kettles at the East Trail church Wednesday morning. The annual Christmas Kettle Campaign begins today and runs until Dec. 24 at locations throughout Greater Trail.

Major Wilf Harbin from the Trail Salvation Army readied the kettles at the East Trail church Wednesday morning. The annual Christmas Kettle Campaign begins today and runs until Dec. 24 at locations throughout Greater Trail.

Ringing in the season of giving in Trail

Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign starts today

The tinkling of bells sounds off the holiday season today at 11 a.m. with the launch of the Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign at Ferraro Foods.

Volunteers will be ringing in donations for the annual drive that aims to raise money and awareness for the continued need for social service programs and resources for vulnerable individuals and families.

Bruce Taylor is one of 139 locals signed up to bring cheer this year.

He’s been donning his woolies and bringing upbeat Christmas music, courtesy of his wife Susan, to the kettles outside Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart for 15 years.

For the retired police officer, the campaign literally hits close to home.

“I was just a young boy in Drumheller, Alberta,” recalled Taylor, saying the year was 1949 or 1950.

“Our house was the last to go in a row of 11 homes that were burnt down in the middle of a very cold winter.”

The fire was probably caused by a coal stove, he surmises, because the main fuel in those days was coal.

The story doesn’t end there, because just as community members were getting ready to save the Taylor house, the fire department’s pumper truck pulled in.

It was so cold outside, 30 or 40 below, that when the fire truck backed up and inadvertently ran over the hose, the line cracked and water ran all over the ground and the family home was lost.

“My mother told me that the Salvation Army were the first ones to come and help,” said Taylor. “They put us up in a hotel and brought food and clothing which they never charged for.”

Taylor remembers his mother’s stories of how the church helped during the war years, and he discovered throughout his decades on the force the dedication of church volunteers.

“I joined the RCMP in 1970 and spent all my time in different places in B.C.,” he explained.

“The Salvation Army was almost always the first on scene to provide assistance to people, victims of different crimes and to help out the police and response teams with hot drinks and food. So I thought this was my way of giving something back to society and this is a good organization to help.”

Last year, the church received $31,500 in donations from the Greater Trail community, and this year Major Wilf Harbin is hoping to top the funds a little more, with a goal of $32,000.

“Our number one priority with the donations is our Christmas hamper program,” said Harbin. “But we wouldn’t able to do it without our volunteers.”

Considered Canada’s largest and most recognizable charitable event, the kettle drive keeps all dollars in the community where the dollars are raised.

All donations left over from the Christmas hamper program are disbursed throughout the year through the Salvation Army Food Bank, Kate’s Kitchen, and the Family Services Program.

Those in need are treated to extra goodies for the holidays. The hampers are stuffed with everything from canned soups and cookies to meat and fresh produce gift certificates to local grocery stores.

While the Christmas hampers contain specialty items like cranberry sauce and gift certificates to give families the traditional dining experience, giving is not a deed picked up only once a year.

Kate’s Kitchen coordinator Linda Radtke expects more than 300 hampers will be made this year, keeping with last year’s numbers, and some of these families will also rely on donated gifts for their children. Residents can play Santa by picking a tag from a Christmas gift tree set up so far at the Waneta Plaza and Ferraro’s. A gift donation can later be dropped under the Christmas tree unwrapped.

The Salvation Army also runs a family sponsor program, where the organization matches donators with a family in need.

“If it wasn’t for the Christmas hampers and the Salvation Army a lot of people would be sitting at home with nothing for Christmas, especially if they have children with no toys, with no food and that’s not something that we want to see,” said Radtke. “We want to make sure that everybody is looked after at Christmas, Christmas is a very important time of year and we don’t want to see anyone suffer.”

Radtke says the food bank’s cupboards are filling up but she warns after the holiday is when food is seriously needed.

Applications for the hampers can be filled out at Kate’s Kitchen on Rossland Avenue before Dec. 9.

Volunteers will be collecting donations inside Waneta Plaza, outside of Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart and the BC Liquor Store every Thursday Friday and Saturday until Dec. 9 when shifts will run regularly Monday through Saturday until Christmas Eve. There will be a final push at Ferraro’s in Trail the last few days leading up to Dec. 24.

Just Posted

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

Cropped photo: Silver Screen Drive-in will be in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza.
Summer drive-in returns to Trail unveiling blockbuster movies

PHOTOS: Scroll to bottom for a trip down memory lane to the Auto Vue Drive-In

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Most Read