Kettle campaign needs volunteers

Volunteers are still being sought for the Salvation Army’s 2015 Christmas Kettle Campaign in the Cowichan Valley

Volunteers are still being sought for the Salvation Army’s 2015 Christmas Kettle Campaign in the Cowichan Valley, which gets underway Friday.

“We are looking for lots of volunteers,” said local kettle coordinator Don Bazinet. “We have 658 shifts to fill.”

As of Nov. 9, there were still nearly 400 shifts left vacant.

Shifts are two hours at a time, and don’t require much more than just watching the kettles and saying hello to passersby. All the setup and takedown is taken care of.

The national kettle campaign is now in its 125th year of collecting donations from the public to help Canadians living in poverty. Salvation Army branches in 400 communities across Canada have set the goal of raising $21 million this year.

The money is used to provide individuals and families with food, clothing and shelter, and for programs like substance abuse recovery, housing support, job and skills training, and budgeting and education classes.

“The Salvation Army has provided hope and dignity for more than 130 years through the generosity of our donors and volunteers,” said Major Les Marshall, Territorial Public Relations and Development Secretary. “Hosted at more than 2,000 locations across Canada, the annual Christmas Kettle Campaign is the organization’s largest fundraising drive of the year and would not be possible without the thousands of kettle workers who volunteer their time.”

Every penny raised in the Cowichan Valley will stay in the Cowichan Valley, Bazinet pointed out.

Kettles will be located at several locations throughout the Cowichan Valley. The Duncan Thrifty Foods store jump-started the campaign with the donation of $500.

“We are very, very happy and appreciative,” Bazinet said.