The Salvation Army held their Kettle Kickoff at Superstore on Friday morning.
The event marks the beginning of yearly donation collecting for Moose Jaw area families who might need help during the holiday season, with local area volunteers attending the kettles and thanking people for their contributions.
“The Kettle Campaign is to help needy families and individuals during the Christmas season. Particularly, we want to make sure that everybody has a reasonably full cupboard to get them through the Christmas season,” said Major Clarence Ingram of the Salvation Army.
While in past years the organization would give hampers to families in need, they now tend to give gift cards that people can use at local grocery stores to give them more agency in fulfilling their needs. “We really don’t know what’s in their cupboard, and of course we have become much more of a multicultural city, and as such, we find that people have their individual food preferences. If we package a hamper, we might put in things that certain people would not use.”
Aside from gift cards for food, the Salvation Army also gives parents appointments at their church location to select from donated toys for their children to receive at Christmas.
The kettles are at six locations across the city, including Moose Jaw Co-Op, Superstore, Walmart, the Town N Country Mall, Safeway, and Sobeys Liquor Store. The are options to tap your card to donate at the Moose Jaw Co-Op, Safeway, and Superstore locations.
They’re still looking for some volunteers to help to tend the kettles, which are staffed Monday through Saturday, with 2-hour shifts from 8:30 am until 9 p.m. until December 23rd. If you’d like to volunteer, contact the Moose Jaw Salvation Army at 306-692-5899.
Fred German is retired and has been a kettle volunteer for over five years and says it gives him the opportunity to meet new people. “I’ve done this for several years,” said German. “I had friends who were doing it, and I said if you need some more, then just give me a call, and they give me a call every year.”
Roughly 500 families and individuals were assisted through the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign last year, and they are projecting to assist approximately the same number this year. They’ve received almost 200 applications to date, and their downtown office is busy with Christmas Assistance interviews from now until December 1st.
Major Clarence Ingram thanked the people of Moose Jaw for their donations, as well as volunteers and local businesses for their help with this campaign. “It is the generosity of the community that enables us to do this. The community is really the army behind the Army, that helps us."
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