Robert Paul collects donations for The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign in the Safeway grocery store in Quesnel. This is Paul’s 11th year in a row with volunteering with the campaign. When asked what compels him to volunteer his time Paul says, “It’s all above love brother. When I’m doing this the connection I have with people is love. They can give it, they can receive it. It’s an exchange of love.” Sasha Sefter photo

Quesnel’s Salvation Army Christmas Campaign aims to raise $40,000

Donations help keep doors open at Warrior’s Song Café food bank and soup kitchen

The Salvation Army is seeking volunteers to fill out its roster of merry jingle bell ringers for this year’s Christmas Kettle Campaign.

“We currently have 32 volunteers and are trying to recruit 20 more to be able to fill the schedule,” says Tami Viktil, the administrative assistant for the Salvation Army in Quesnel.

The Christmas Kettle Campaign originated in 1891 when Capt. Joseph McFee of the Salvation Army in San Francisco, Calif., collected charitable donations in a brass urn at the Oakland ferry landing to fund a Christmas dinner for 1,000 of the city’s less fortunate.

The Christmas Kettle Campaign made its way to Canada in 1903, and the program has grown exponentially since then, with more than 2,000 kettle locations in Canada alone.

In this, the campaign’s 129th year, a national fundraising goal of $21.6 million has been set. These donations enable Salvation Army units to provide assistance to individuals and families in 400 communities across Canada. Donations also allow the Salvation Army to provide programs aimed at helping people find a way out of poverty permanently. These programs include budgeting and education classes, substance abuse recovery, job and skills training, and housing supports.

Every donation made at a Christmas kettle stays within the community where it was given. Here in Quesnel, all the money raised during the campaign will go towards covering the operational costs incurred at the Warrior’s Song Café.

Last year, the Quesnel Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign was able to raise $39,000 thanks to generous donations from the community. This year, the Quesnel Salvation Army hopes to beat that number by setting a goal of $40,000.

The campaign will run Monday to Saturday from Nov. 28 until Dec. 24. Kettle locations will be Save On Foods, Safeway, Extra Foods and Walmart, with the downtown B.C. Liquor Store adding a kettle on Dec 2.

Viktil says none of the Quesnel Salvation Army efforts would be possible without the help of the community.

“We would like to thank the residents of Quesnel for their support throughout the years. Without their willingness to give of their time and donations, we would not be able to keep our doors open at the Warrior’s Song Café, which provides the food bank and soup kitchen services,” she says.

Anyone interested in volunteering their time with the Salvation Army in Quesnel for the Christmas Kettle Campaign is encouraged to contact Tami Viktil, who can be reached at 250-992-8784.

READ MORE: Quesnel Salvation Army grateful for donations during busy winter

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