The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle campaign is set to return later this week and volunteers are needed to jingle bells and accept donations at various Orillia retailers from Nov. 26 until Christmas Eve.
Major Calvin Collins says the kettle campaign is crucial for helping the Salvation Army meet the various needs of vulnerable people in the community.
“The need is getting greater all the time, and with COVID it's worsened and the need is greater. The best way we can support people in need is through our kettle campaign,” he said.
The Salvation Army has always had success with providing Christmas hampers, toys, and healthy meals to families in need because of the generosity of communities like Orillia, he noted.
“This community has always been really generous; we could probably take in several hundreds of dollars just through our letter campaign. Our food bank program fed approximately 500 families last Christmas, and 1,100 children got toys,” he said.
There is no fundraising goal as of yet for the Orillia Salvation Army, but with a dozen kettles out with debit or credit options, Collins anticipates another successful campaign. However, the Salvation Army is in need of volunteers to make it work.
“Last year we didn’t have volunteers, just the tap option on the kettles, and that’s because we were in the Red Zone," said Collins, referring to the lockdown protocols in place due to a resurgence of COVID-19 at that time.
"It didn’t work as well as we anticipated last year because of the volunteer shortage,” he said.
“I think we will do alright if we can get volunteers who will stand with the kettles at the liquor stores, grocery stores, and the eight to ten places that we have permission to put kettles.”
To volunteer with the kettle campaign, email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Some people are still uneasy about volunteering, but we are making sure all the protocols are in place as stipulated not only by the government but also the Salvation Army,” Collins said.
The Christmas Kettle Campaign will officially kick off at the Salvation Army parking lot at 157 Coldwater Rd. W. on Thursday (Nov. 25) at 7 p.m. Collins thanks everyone in Orillia for their ongoing support.
“Without the public, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. We are very appreciative of the support,” he said.