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Small army needed for fundraising effort

NANAIMO: Salvation Army seeks to man 100 shifts a day during Christmas Kettle campaign.
Nanaimo Salvation Army envoy and fundraising coordinator Dawne Anderson and volunteer Gary Hay prep the Salvation Army kettles and drop boxes for the organization’s annual Christmas kettle campaign

A small army of volunteers is needed for the Nanaimo Sally Ann’s annual Christmas Kettle campaign, which officially kicks off Tuesday (Nov. 20), with a luncheon.

Last year’s campaign was assisted by approximately 900 bell-ringing and carol-singing volunteers, said envoy Dawne Anderson, Salvation Army fundraising coordinator.

“That’s including sports groups, companies, businesses, schools and individuals, and we’re hoping that they all come back on board as well as many others,” she said.

There are four time slots each day at 25 different locations, ranging from North Nanaimo to Ladysmith, adding up to 100 shifts a day to fill between Nov. 22 to Dec. 24. This year, there are two new kettle locations (Country Grocer at Bowen Road and the Woodgrove Food Court) and the organization is considering putting a few manned kettles out on Boxing Day.

“That’s a lot of hours to man the kettles,” Anderson said.

The fundraising goal for this year is set at $400,000. Last year’s kettle and mail-in donations combined fell just short of that amount with the kettle campaign alone raising $203,000.

“That’s an amazing amount on the kettles, it was so exciting,” Anderson said.

The Christmas kettle campaign is the Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser of the year.

“All the money we raise in the kettle campaign helps support our community services work, with our New Hope centre, the emergency shelter, food hampers, meal program and our shelter downtown,” Anderson said.

The Salvation Army handed out 2,300 Christmas hampers to local families last year and expects the number to grow in 2012.

“The need is increasing in the community,” Anderson said.

For those with a bit of spring in their step, the Salvation Army, in partnership with the Running Room, is also holding the Santa Shuffle fun run and elf walk on Dec. 1, as part of their seasonal fundraising efforts.

The cost to register is $30 for adults, and $20 for youths 12 and under. Families of six or less can register together for $85.

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To inquire about volunteering for the Christmas kettle campaign, or for luncheon tickets, call 250-740-1004 or e-mail