Staff with the Red Deer Salvation Army are still putting out the call for volunteers to fill spots with the annual kettle campaign.
Funds raised are used to assist families and individuals at Christmas and throughout the year with a variety of programs and services.
Kettles are set up at Wal-Mart (north and south locations), Canadian Tire (north and south), Co-op (Deer Park), Scott’s Parable Christian Store, Parkland Mall by the Safeway entrance, Bower Place Mall, Save-On Foods (East Hill), Superstore and Costco.
The Red Deer Christmas Kettle Campaign was launched on Nov. 21st and runs through to Dec. 23rd.
The campaign goal this year is $200,000, and a recent count found that while organizers have crossed the half-way point, there’s still a ways to go, said Major Larry Bridger of the Salvation Army Church & Community Services.
“We still need a lot more volunteers.”
But there is still time to turn things around. With the help of volunteers and the donations raised through the Christmas Kettles, the Salvation Army can make a difference in the lives of Red Deer’s less fortunate, he said.
Bridger also said that the money from the Kettle Campaign is used here in Red Deer for Community and Family Services work. That includes year-round assistance where they help families through food assistance. They’ve got other programs like emergency medication, transportation and a number of other services that the money is used for as well.
Last year, the Kettle Campaign in Red Deer was down slightly, pulling in about $160,000. The year prior, about $200,000 had been raised, said Bridger.
Anyone interested in helping out can call Debbie Lang, Christmas Kettle coordinator, at 403-346-2251.
Another season event that took place this month was the Santa Shuffle on Dec. 7.
The 5km run or a 1km ‘Elf Walk’ went towards supporting Salvation Army Family Services programs.
Another seasonal initiative that recently wrapped up was the annual Adopt-A-Family. The application deadline was Dec. 13.
Last year, about 170 families were assisted through the Adopt-A-Family program, he said. This year, about 145 have applied for assistance.
“We still have people calling in who want to sponsor, which is good.”
Looking ahead to next week, Christmas dinner will once again be served at the Salvation Army Dec. 25 from noon to 1 p.m. A Christmas Eve candlelight service also runs at 6:30 p.m.
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army in London, England, spent years as a Methodist minister traveling all around the country and preaching. He returned to London with his family, and one day in 1865 he found himself in the city’s poverty-stricken East End. He formed ‘The Christian Mission’ which was changed in 1878 to the Salvation Army.
By the time Booth died in 1912 the Army was at work in 58 countries. Today, the Army is working in about 120 countries.
Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Booth and the 130th anniversary of the Army’s ministry in Canada. Their mission is simple but profound – ‘Heart to God, Hand to Man’.
It’s a principal that has been guiding the church’s steps since its beginning in east London.