Bells were ringing as the kettles started to fill for the Prince Rupert Salvation Army’s Annual Christmas campaign, which began on Nov. 23.
Volunteers are needed to spread a little cheer Dawn Butt, Salvation Army Lieutenant and Christmas Kettle organizer, told The Northern View.
“This year, we are only at two locations. We’re normally at more, but because of COVID and restrictions and volunteer dropping, we have gone to just two locations,” Butt said.
However, there were not enough volunteers to cover one of the kettles on the opening day of the fundraiser.
The Salvation Army needs six volunteers per day and eight on Fridays and Saturdays to man their kettles during the season. Under the organization’s COVID-19 policy, it is mandatory for all volunteers to be double vaccinated for the community’s safety.
“That’s our top priority,” Butt said.
“For some, that has been a challenge, which we understand and we one hundred per cent respect people’s decisions. So our numbers for volunteers are down.”
They are hoping volunteer numbers will pick up closer to Christmas, she said.
As well, donations are needed. Kettles can be found at Walmart and BC Liquor Store every day from noon until 6 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
This year’s fundraiser runs until Dec. 23 and is the Salvations Army’s largest source of income to support its yearly operations.
The organization relies on the annual fundraiser to fund its operations throughout the year, such as the Food Bank and daily soup kitchen.
“It’s really awesome how much support this community has. It’s phenomenal,” Butt said. “Seeing the community come together and just help one another and love one another and share even what little they have — it blows me away from year to year.”
Last year, the kettle campaign raised $87,000, just shy of their $90,000 goal.
Ed Landrath, with his seeing-eye dog Annie, has been volunteering for the Christmas Kettle Campaign for three years since he moved to Prince Rupert five years ago.
Landrath appreciates all the Salvation Army does for the community and enjoys supporting the cause.
“This is a way for us to give back,” he said. “It just seems to be the right place to be.”
Norman Galimski | Journalist
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