Volunteers Needed for Kettle Campaign

 

Christmas bells are ringing and for many people, it signals the start of the Salvation Army’s sole fundraising campaign. The organization’s annual Christmas Kettle Drive kicked off during Jingle Bell Night in Paris on Friday. Now, volunteers are needed to stand at the kettles and help the Salvation Army help others.

“Our biggest need is for volunteers,” Major Darrell Jackson, said. “We probably have 1,000 shifts to fill.”

Each shift is two-hours long between the hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. There are no Sunday shifts. The short shifts enable people to volunteer without taking up too much of their time, but people are welcome to take more than one shift. “With the shorter times, we have more shifts to fill,” Jackson said. “We’re trying to be strategic with how we are doing (shifts.) We’re targeting the more productive locations first.”

Major Darrell Jackson officially launching the 2019 campaign on Friday, November 22nd.

Two stations are set up in Paris – at Sobey’s and No Frills – with seven kettle locations in Brantford. Stations will be set up at LCBO outlets in December.
Jackson said manning the kettles is an annual tradition for some. That’s why many local organizations and corporations book an entire day so as many employees as possible can participate.

“Some people find it very fulfilling. We do hire some, but we often do it through Community Living. One of our workers said she was a little apprehensive about being out with her client for the kettles, but the two hours went so fast and it was so fulfilling.”

Major Darrell Jackson, Salvation Army

Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult while standing with a kettle. High school students can gain volunteer hours through the program.

Donating to the campaign can be equally enjoyable, helping instill a spirit of giving that makes the holiday season brighter.

“We often find that people will go and get cash for the kettles because it has become their tradition,” Jackson said.

Brantford Mayor, Kevin Davis, is the first to provide his donation during  Jingle Bell Night in downtown Paris.

Every dollar that goes into the local kettle and mail-out campaigns remains in Brantford/Brant so the Salvation Army can help feed, shelter and clothe its most vulnerable citizens.

“This is it for us.That’s our finances for the year. It covers any of our community services like the food bank, sending kids to camp, school backpacks, income tax clinics and a drop-in program for stay-at-home caregivers – anything of that nature.”

Major Darrell Jackson, Salvation Army

The Salvation Army also helps local families have a Christmas that extends well beyond material goods through its Christmas Hamper campaign.

“(The campaign is) not just to give them something, especially children.When these kids go back to school and the other kids are saying, ‘this is what I got,’ we don’t want these kids to hang their heads. We want them to have the same dignity; it’s not just about stuff.”

Major Darrell Jackson, Salvation Army

People are encouraged to make the gifts meaningful for recipients.

“Rather than buying ten five dollar toys, get one $50 toy,” Jackson said. “Chances are these children want the same thing as other children of the same ages.”

This year’s kettle fundraising goal is $110,000 with an additional $100,000 goal for the Salvation Army mail-out program.

New toys for children nine years and under and gift cards for children 10 to 13 years are also needed for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Hamper program.

If they don’t have cash for the kettles, people can donate online or stop by the Salvation Army Citadel’s 33 Diana Avenue location to use the debit machine during regular office hours.The campaign runs until Dec. 24th.

For more information, or to donate, call 519-752-7813 and ask for Lise or visit salvationarmybrantford.ca.

Brant County Mayor, David Bailey, helped launch this year’s kettle campaign downtown Paris.

Jackson and his wife Major Lise Jackson are the newest pastors at the Salvation Army Citadel. They recently moved to Brantford from Georgetown.