Salvation Army Major Bruce MacKenzie holds one of the kettles that will be at six different locations in Port Alberni starting Friday Nov. 30. The organization's kettle campaign runs until Dec. 24

Christmas kettle campaign set to launch in Alberni

The Salvation Army kettle campaign in Port Alberni starts on Friday, Nov. 30 and volunteers are needed to help the fundraising initiative.

The Salvation Army is dusting off its kettles in preparation for another Christmas campaign.

The initiative kicks off on Friday, Nov. 30 and runs until Christmas eve, coordinator John Cloke said.

The Salvation Army’s goal this year is to raise $65,000 through the kettle campaign, Cloke said. Last year the campaign raised $68,000, which was up from its fundraising goal of $50,000.

The kettles will be located at various locations around the city, such as Walmart, Buy-Low Foods, the BC Liquor Store, Safeway, Fairway Market, and Quality Foods. Buy-Low is the only location with a kettle located indoors.

The initiative raises funds to provide Christmas hampers to needy families in the Alberni Valley. The Salvation Army expects to provide upwards of 200 hampers this year but the number can fluctuate. “We put together 400 hampers last Christmas. And we provide from 70-200 hampers a week throughout the year,” Major Bruce MacKenzie said.

The organization also supports low income people by assisting them with replacement furniture and clothing.

The initiative relies on volunteers to be successful. Community groups like Kiwanis and Rotary help man the kettles. Some clubs match their daily donation tally, and others adopt a family during the holidays, Cloke said.

The campaign can still use volunteers, who will be required to fill a two-hour shift between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at one of the locations. Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call John Cloke at 250-723-6913.

According to the the Salvation Army website, the Christmas Kettle Campaign was started in San Francisco by Captain Joseph McFee in 1891.

It expanded to New York in 1901, and it served 150,000 Christmas dinners to the needy from The Big Apple to the West Coast.

The first time a kettle was used in Canada was in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1906.

The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army support the vulnerable in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world.

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