This year's Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign shattered expectations.
On Sunday, there were smiles all around at the Orillia Salvation Army headquarters on Coldwater Road when about 150 local volunteers and staff were told at a thank-you luncheon that the campaign raised $231,620.90 — more than $56,000 above its ambitious $175,000 goal.
“When you see the change going into the kettles, you see money, coins, etc., but that change means something different to me, the change of the big picture, where someone’s life is put back on track… that is what I see when I see the change going in each kettle, and that’s a lot of change that will happen,” said Josh Howard, Orillia Salvation Army Captain.
Stories about the change that has resulted from the campaign were heard around the room Sunday during the luncheon.
“It was such a joy to see the Orillia community come together to help out the less fortunate,” said Marry Woodman, a Kettle Campaign volunteer.
The staff and volunteers behind the 2022 Christmas Kettle Campaign in Orillia took on a big task yet again over the holiday season. Once the numbers were tabulated, it was concluded volunteers spent 2,120 hours standing in stores beside the kettles; more than 1,100 bell ringers help to collect money during the campaign.
Some of the funds raised went to creating 580 Christmas food hampers, and well over 1,200 toys and Christmas presents for families who needed support this Christmas season.
“It’s because of you, the volunteers. You allow us to do what we do. Thank you!” stated Howard.
Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop congratulated the local church and its volunteers.
“I remember coming last year to see the beginning of the campaign, and now to see the final (financial) figure, just goes to show that the campaign was a huge success,” Dunlop said.
Besides the yearly Christmas Kettle campaign, the Salvation Army also provides emergency assistance related to food security, clothing needs, transportation, assistance, household goods, disaster response, and also operates a ministry street vehicle, which feeds up to 200 residents every Friday night in downtown Orillia.
If you would like to know more about the church or its programs or volunteer with the Salvation Army, click here.