The kickoff for the Salvation Army’s 2016 Christmas Kettle Campaign begins next week, and organizers are looking for volunteers to help out.
Don Bazinet, local kettle coordinator, said there will be six kettles spread throughout the Cowichan Valley and one in Mill Bay.
He said this year’s goal is to raise $80,000 that will help pay for approximately 600 Christmas hampers and toys for the needy in the region, with the rest going toward the Salvation Army’s family services programs in the Valley that run all year.
Bazinet said the kettle campaign netted $90,000 in the region last year, $10,000 more than the target, and he hopes the campaign will be just as successful, or more so, this year.
He said there will be 700 two-hour shifts to fill at the seven kettle locations this year, that run between 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The locations this year are the Thrifty Food stores in Duncan and Mill Bay, and Duncan’s Superstore, Save-On-Foods, London Drugs, Canadian Tire and Walmart.
Bazinet said the campaign will begin on Nov. 18 and run until Christmas Eve, but the kettles will only be operating on weekends until the final two weeks before Christmas.
The shifts don’t require much more than just watching the kettles and saying hello to passersby, and all the setup and takedown is taken care of.
“If people have a favourite location to take a shift, they should call in soon to book a time and place,” Bazinet said.
To volunteer to help out with this year’s kettle campaign, call 250-732-8988.