The Salvation Army in Nanaimo has started ringing the bells to mark the Christmas Kettle Campaign.
The donation drive is the organization’s biggest annual fundraiser, and thanks to tapping into new technology, the campaign has been able to thrive under COVID-19 conditions.
“Last year we raised $293,000 and this year’s target is $295,000,” said Dawne Anderson, Salvation Army envoy. “We have 21 kettle locations and we have 10 counter-top [transaction machines] to go out to businesses.”
The donation drive officially got underway Friday, Nov. 19, and continues until Dec. 24.
Anderson said this year’s campaign will have a graduated start with volunteers manning collection kettles two days this week and three days next week.
“The following week it’s going to be full bore, Monday to Saturday,” Anderson said.
This year the electronic tap transaction machines will be mounted on the kettles for anyone who wishes to donate, but doesn’t happen to have cash or spare change in their pockets. The tap machines accept $5, $10 and $20 donations and counter-top taps will take $5 donations.
Kettles and volunteers will be at indoor and outdoor sites from Nanaimo to Ladysmith. Kettle volunteers will all be fully vaccinated and the Salvation Army is always in need of more volunteers to fill two-and-a-half-hour kettle shifts.
“We are always in need of kettle volunteers,” Anderson said. “We just ask that our volunteers that come onboard are fully vaccinated and show us proof of vaccination as they’re coming onboard the shifts to ensure the health and safety of those who are serving and those in the community. That’s why we’re asking for full vaccination. It’s been a slow start for volunteers calling in to sign up, so we’re hoping more of the community will think of coming onboard and volunteering their time.”
The Salvation Army is also getting support throughout the Christmas season with donation and fundraising drives and charity events, including the Give and Go food donation drive at Steve Marshall Ford on Dec. 10, a fundraiser performance by the Nanaimo Concert Band and community dinners for Salvation Army clients, Dec. 23-24.
“And we’re doing our seniors’ dinner delivery, delivering meals to seniors at home [who are] shut-ins,” Anderson said.
For the first time the Salvation Army will host a Christmas tree shredding event at the Salvation Army Church parking lot, at the corner of Bruce Avenue and Eighth Street, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jan. 8. Christmas trees will be chipped for a $5 minimum donation, which can be paid with cash, debit or credit.
Anderson also said the Salvation Army in Nanaimo has taken over serving breakfast from the 7-10 Club, which means more donations are needed to cover the added number of daily meals served by the organization’s meal program.
“Because we are now doing the breakfasts – the Salvation Army has taken that on – we’ve now changed from 10,000 meals a month to 13,600, so we’ve increased 3,600 meal per month in our meal program,” Anderson said.
To learn more about the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign or to sign up as a volunteer, call 250-824-0324 or contact via e-mail at email@example.com.
To recommend a senior who would benefit from a dinner delivery, contact Leah Howroyd by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-824-0197.