Salvation Army Major Bruce Mac Kenzie says people who want to donate to the kettle campaign but have no cash can now do so by using text or the Internet.

Kettle campaign kicks off in Alberni

The venerable Salvation Army kicks off its annual kettle drive on Friday and now there’s an option for people to make a donation by text

An innovative initiative is going to allow people to donate to the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign via texting, Major Bruce Mac Kenzie said.

The Salvation Army kettle campaign in Port Alberni kicks off on Friday, Nov. 29 in front of Animal Ark on Third Avenue and lasts until Dec. 24.

The Salvation Army hopes to raise $65,000 this year through the campaign, Mac Kenzie said.

Last year’s drive raised $63,000. All proceeds go towards the army’s community family services arm. “It underwrites about eight per cent of the community family services budget, so it’s a significant amount.”

One problem kettle volunteers have often encountered in recent years is people who say they’d like to donate but say they have no cash.

To overcome the issue the kettle campaign has added digital options for cashless customers.

The first option allows people to text a donation. Donators can send a text to the number 45678 and send the message “Hope 1004”. They will next be prompted for a $5 donation, which if they agree will be added to their phone bill and a tax receipt sent to them.

A second option will allow people to donate online by logging onto the website fillthekettle.com. They can click on a kettle and make a donation.

“These just make it more convenient for people to make a donation,” Mac Kenzie said.

As of Friday, there will be kettles set up at six locations six days a week: Walmart, Buy-Low Foods, Safeway, Fairway Market, Quality Foods and the BC Liquor Store. A seventh location will be located at the Animal Ark on Third Avenue on Fridays and Saturdays.

There are 250 kettle shifts between Nov. 29 and Dec. 24 with each shift taking two hours. The initiative has filled approximately half the shifts but needs more volunteers, Mac Kenzie said.  Prospective volunteers can call Schellie Hudson at 250-735-4899.

Other volunteer groups include the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, ADSS band, Port Alberni fire fighters, and army cadets as well as service groups.

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