Nothing is more a part of the Christmas season than the Salvation Army’s red kettles, with their bell ringers.
Locke says one of the main problems with the campaign is that it requires cash.
“This year we have had troubles getting enough volunteers to fill the bell ringing times”. This year’s goal is $380,000 with $60,000 to raise in the final week before Christmas. “Whenever the community knows there is a need, they come and help us any way they can”. Every year, they start a choir to sing at nursing homes and Kettle donation sites.
The community’s effort this season thus far has been appreciated, Cole said. “There’s no holes or openings, but over the past season, we’ve had many different companies, all sorts of service groups (help us)”. More than 120,000 people were served at the Salvation Army campus this year.
“She’s wonderful”, he said.
The Red Kettle campaign ends at the end of the day Saturday.
O’Brien said the bulk of the toys in the shop were provided via Toys for Tots donations and from collections taken by generous local businesses, organizations and individuals. “It’s just harder times this year, that we’ve all, as Canadians, been faced with”.
To date, the centre has raised $344,000 through donations collected at retail and grocery stores, and managed to cover three-quarters of its volunteer shifts for the next few days. That’s $1.1 million across the Maritimes.
“In my case it helped somebody that was broken, in need of help, in need of a helping hand”, Montgomery said.
Fifield said they remain confident that they can still set a new fundraising record but in order to achieve this they have to be able to put kettles out. “We believe it’s going to happen”, said Dihle.
“It’s a sacrificial service that people are sharing their resources with us”.