The 130th Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign launched on Thursday Nov. 19 in Prince Rupert with three donation kettles around town and counter top mini kettles being placed at some local area businesses.
The Salvation Army has seen the number of people needing support skyrocket almost five times over last year in some locations across the country.
“It is a worrying and unprecedented jump not seen since the Second World War by the organization,” a national press release issued on Nov. 16 said.
Prince Rupert Salvation Army Lieutenant Dawn Butts said more than 30 volunteers will be needed this year to man the two kettles located at Walmart and the BC Liquor Store. A third kettle will be inside the Moose Lodge for the season.
“There will be times, right now, when the kettle will not be out because we don’t have enough volunteers. We totally respect that. It is very much a COVID reason and not anything else. People are just wanting to stay safe,” she said.
“A lot of our volunteers, especially around Christmas time, tend to be senior and we want them to stay as safe as they possibly can.”
The annual event is the organizations largest public fundraiser of the year and the 2020 Prince Rupert goal for collections is $30,000 with the national goal being $23 million.
“We are also promoting our fillthekettle.com and if you click on Prince Rupert we are filling an online kettle. Our goal is $30,000. We have kept it the same as last year.”
The Salvation Army has seen a 19 per cent increase nationwide in the number of people who have visited or used services this year because of delayed wages. Furthermore, people listing homelessness as their reason for visits has doubled since 2019.
“Our needs have increased,” Butts said. “However, we also recognize that the giving potential for the community has gone up and down because to COVID. As much as our needs have increased because our clientele has increased, we also realize that some people who would have given no long can because their hours have been reduced or they have been laid of.”
To volunteer for the kettle campaign phone the Salvation Army or visit online to fill out an application.
K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter