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Kettles need more hands

Campaign ends on Dec. 24

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Saturday, Dec 14, 2013 06:00 am

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The biggest challenge facing the Christmas Kettle Campaign this year is not a dearth of donors and donations: it’s people to operate the kettle sites. So says Lieutenant Peter Kim, the pastor of the local Salvation Army church.

“Our major issue is that we’re not having enough volunteers,” Kim stated. “That’s been hurting us a little bit. Actually a lot.”

The shortage of volunteers is mainly due to attrition, he explained. This means that several dedicated older volunteers who are normally on the roster have stopped helping out for one reason or another. Signing up newer, younger volunteers is not always an easy task either.

“It’s been a bit of a challenge getting volunteers.”

The problem is so bad that one location – Sobeys – has been practically abandoned. He said that the kettle has only been in operation for three or four days out of the whole campaign. It has also been a struggle to get people to help out at Save-On Foods – North as well.

The church was able to set up an impromptu stand at Costco on two weekends to help make up for the shortfall. Another kettle was set up yesterday at the Scotiabank location at Gateway Shopping Centre on the city’s south end. The bank matched all donations up to $5,000. A total was not available by press time.

“That will really, really help us,” he remarked.

Kim said that this is all good news that helps bring the campaign ever closer to its goal of $300,000. He was thrilled to report that some youth groups have also stepped forward to help out. A local high school Interact club, a youth branch of Rotary International, has offered to take some shifts.

A total-to-date was not available but Kim said that they had surpassed $127,000 by Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Shifts are available across St. Albert at the following locations: Walmart, Superstore, all four Safeway and Save-On Foods locations, St. Albert Centre, and Sobeys. There are also two sites in Spruce Grove, at the Superstore and Walmart stores. Each shift is only two hours long. The entire campaign contains approximately 1,450 shifts.

The Salvation Army Kettle Campaign is set to run until Tuesday, December 24. The kettle fund will help to provide community programming for many, including seniors and young mothers. Another program is meant to help fill in the gaps left in the wake of the closure of the St. Albert Youth Community Centre.

If you can help by volunteering at a kettle or by making a donation, please phone the Salvation Army Church at 780-458-1937 or 780-995-2769. You can also visit salvationarmy.ca/donate to help out.

The church is located at 165 Liberton Drive.


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