Five people have been hired as kettle workers for the Prince Rupert Salvation Army’s 2014 Christmas Kettle Campaign in December.
While in past years the Salvation Army relied on volunteers to host the kettles, Capt. Gary Sheils said there hasn’t been enough people stepping forward in recent years.
“The last few years before 2013 we had a really difficult time getting volunteers to man the kettles,” he said, noting there were only enough volunteers to cover half of the collection shifts in 2012.
“I decided last year that we would hire enough kettle workers to have three kettles out on the days we wanted them to be.”
Last year, $20,000 was collected during Prince Rupert’s campaign, along with $140,000 through the organization’s annual holiday mail operation.
“Christmas costs us about $100,000,” Sheils explained.
“Everything we raise in December goes to our work for the full year,” he added, noting the Prince Rupert Salvation Army requires approximately $300,000 for its food budget each year.
While the Salvation Army will have to pay the five individuals it hired for this year’s campaign with its own resources, Sheils said it’s important to have people out with the kettles to help boost the Salvation Army’s visibility and to raise awareness.
In Prince Rupert, the Christmas Kettle Campaign will officially kick off during the Winterfest Festival of Lights on the evening of Dec. 5. Kettle hosts will be collecting outside businesses on 15 days throughout December.
Any individuals or groups wanting to collect donations for the campaign are encouraged to contact Capt. Gary Sheils at 250-624-6180.