Volunteers needed for Nanaimo Christmas campaigns

NANAIMO – Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign and Operation Red Nose seek more volunteers as holiday season kicks into high gear.

With Christmas fast approaching, organizers of the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign and Operation Red Nose aren’t asking for their two front teeth – they’re asking for more volunteers.

Dawne Anderson, Nanaimo Salvation Army fundraising and promotions coordinator, said the kettle campaign currently has 471 volunteers, down from 1,000 in 2014. It needs more helpers and it needs them now.

There are a number of reasons for the drop.

“People have to get into the spirit of getting out there,” said Anderson. “Also, a lot of our folks are older and aren’t able to do them this year … 60 per cent of our folks are older, so we need to get some young blood in there.”

Anderson said individuals can volunteer and co-workers can even band together.

“Businesses can take on a day and they can share the day, or part of the day with their staff and then they’re only out there for an hour at a time, lots of opportunities that way,” said Anderson.

Operation Red Nose, a free holiday designated driver service, broke a nightly record on Dec. 5 as 140 people received rides.

Although total volunteers increased to 120 from 95 since last year, Ursula Weiss, Operation Red Nose coordinator, could use more help. She is anticipating a lot more calls.

“I’m excited that we grew by that much … but, we’re probably, leading into New Year’s and into next weekend, we’re probably going to have to up that maybe by another 30 volunteers,” said Weiss.

The ideal would be 160 volunteers, said Weiss.

To jingle a bell and assist with the kettle campaign, please call Anderson at 250-740-1004 or 250-716-6595.

To assist in getting holiday revellers safely home, please call Weiss at 250-667-0954.

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