Members of the Port Alberni Starfleet Deep Space Port chapter with Salvation Army kettle coordinator, right, encourage Alberni Valley groups to ‘adopt a kettle’ for a day. KARLY BLATS PHOTO

Star Trek fan club challenges Alberni groups to ‘adopt a kettle’

The Salvation Army annual Christmas kettle drives begins Nov. 24, volunteers needed.

Port Alberni’s Starfleet Deep Space Port chapter are committed to Star Trek but they’re also committed to supporting community fundraisers.

Members of Starfleet, a Star Trek fan club dedicated to charitable work, are challenging other clubs, societies and groups in Port Alberni to adopt a kettle for the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas kettle campaign.

To adopt a kettle for the day, organizations would need to cover five two-hour shifts from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We challenge every non-profit society and club in town to adopt one kettle for one day because you can do that with just five people at rock bottom,” said Starfleet spokesperson Gillian Shearwater.

Volunteers can do their shifts alone or with a partner. Shearwater said people sometimes bring their kids or dogs to help out too.

Shearwater said Starfleet has been challenging people in the community to adopt a kettle since 2012.

“Last year we were hugely successful and there is slowly becoming more (groups) every year,” she said. “Now we have a base of groups that are coming on board. The idea is to grow that base because every group that does it can tell another group.”

She added that volunteering is beneficial for community groups because it raises awareness about their organizations. She said groups are welcome to wear their regalia when on kettle duty.

Kettles will be in front of Walmart, Tyler’s No Frills, Quality Foods, Buy-Low Foods, Save-On-Foods and the government liquor store on 10th Avenue daily starting Nov. 24 until Dec. 23. Volunteers are still needed to fill shifts and kettle coordinator Hannah McNalley encourages people to come out and support the community.

Money raised from the kettle campaign goes toward the Salvation Army’s Christmas hampers and regular services throughout the year.

The Salvation Army hopes to raise $55,000, a goal that Lt. Michelle Cale said is standard year after year.

Cale said the Salvation Army serves close to 800 families per month.

“We’ve seen an increase since moving to this location (Argyle Street) in June. We were about 525 (families) at Redford, now we’re serving over 800,” Cale said. “I think it’s because the bulk of our people are in this neighbourhood. It’s ease of access which is one of the major reasons we wanted to move to this location.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer can call McNalley at 250-723-6913 (ext. 225) or email av.kettlehannah@gmail.com.

For Christmas hamper applications, people can visit the Salvation Army on Nov. 27, Nov. 29, Dec. 1, Dec. 4, Dec. 6 and Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1- 3 p.m. or on Dec. 6 from 6- 8 p.m. People need to bring government ID for each member of their family, proof of all household income and proof of rent, mortgage, property taxes, heating costs and other expenses.

karly.blats@vancouverislandfreedaily.com

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