What’s that sound? No, it’s not jingle bells — the Salvation Army Christmas Kettles are back, armed by volunteers sounding the need for donations.
The 35 kettle bell ringers took to the streets in Victoria on Dec. 4, where they will be asking for donations until Christmas Day.
“It’s our biggest fundraiser campaign of the year,” Patricia Mamic, the public and government affairs director for the Victoria Salvation Army, said. “All the money raised with stay in our community.”
— Salvation Army BC (@SalArmyBC) December 5, 2018
The funds will help cover back-to-school supplies, summer camps and post-emergency aid as well as year-round programming.
Last year, the Salvation Army in Victoria was $10,000 short of their $225,000 goal. Mamic said they’re still hoping to meet their goal this year, but understand the cost of food and living is increasing. She said the Salvation Army in Victoria has had an increase of people coming in to use their services.
“A lot of the time, poverty is not seen. It’s people who are working, or single parents, families or seniors,” she said. “It could be the youth staying at a friend’s place on their couch. It’s challenging.”
The kettle campaign has become iconic in the more than 100 years the Salvation Army has been operating. Appearing not only on street corners, but in the background of holiday classics like Home Alone 2. And in Victoria, another star factor joined the force on Dec. 4.
This year, the Hope in the City Breakfast in Victoria was sold out to 400 people on Dec. 4, with help from Olympic figure skating duo Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. It was the first time such an event was held in Victoria, and Mamic said they’ve raised the bar for what they’ll need to do next year.
“We were very fortunate to have them,” she said of the gold-winning Canadian athletes. ” Their message was one of hope, motivation and perseverance. It really resonates with people of all ages.”
Mamic added that Salvation Army accepts donations year-round, and donations can be made to particular programs or where there is the greatest need in the city.