Wisdom Wednesday

Looking forward to helping out this great local fundraiser this Saturday! – http://www.thewhig.com/2017/11/14/kettle-campaign-sets-ambitious-goal

Kettle campaign sets ambitious goal

By Julia McKay, Kingston Whig-Standard – 

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Salvation Army volunteer Carol Roche, left, and Christmas Kettle co-ordinator Maria Sadowy pose with one of the 19 Christmas Kettles on Tuesday at the Salvation Army Citadel in Kingston. The annual campaign launch is starting this Friday at the Cataraqui Centre and organizers are hoping to raise $310,000 for the variety of local programs and services throughout the year. (Julia McKay/The Whig-Standard)

With the holidays just around the corner, Christmas lights are going up, trees are getting decorated and those unmistakable red kettles are appearing around the city.

Volunteers are moving the red Salvation Army Christmas kettles into place at local stores with the launch of the 2017 Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign happening on Friday at the Cataraqui Centre.

The goal for the 2017 Christmas Kettle campaign is $310,000.

“We rely on 300-plus volunteers every year,” Maria Sadowy, events media and volunteer co-ordinator at Community and Family Services and this year’s Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign co-ordinator, said. “We still have shifts available to be fill.”

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign will run from Nov. 17 to Dec. 23.

Volunteers are asked to oversee a kettle at one of 19 locations across the city, for at least one two-hour shift.

Some volunteers are able to help for just one shift, others are able to donate their time multiple times a week, like Roche, but Sadowy said every shift helps.

“It’s about five shifts per day per location,” Sadowy said. “We have about 40% of shift left to fill so there’s lot of opportunity left to get involved and help make a difference.”

For Carol Roche, who started volunteering with the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign in 2006, she has seen how important the services are, from both sides of the kettle.

“When I was young, really small, I came from a dysfunctional and poor background, the one particular memory that I have that stands out in my mind is one Christmas,” Roche said. “It wasn’t a good situation, as a lot of people go through, and this Christmas Eve the Salvation Army came to our door. They brought food, and they brought toys and they brought candy. The candy was a big thing [to a child]. When you’re poor you don’t always get the luxuries of [things like] candy. Now, I can’t walk by a kettle without putting money in.”

Roche volunteers a few times a week, as well as volunteering for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Hamper campaign.

New to the Christmas Kettle campaign this year is a pilot project, which Sadowy is hoping to see rolled out in December, and will allow the option of digital payments at some locations.

“We’re working on it at the moment so we don’t have confirmed details just yet,” Sadowy said. “We’re hoping that this may be helpful in terms of getting more donations.”

All the money donated through the kettle campaign in Kingston, stays in Kingston, and goes to help those in need locally.

“Christmas Kettles is our largest annual fundraiser and it directly supports Community and Family services, all of our programs and services that we have year round,” Sadowy said.

Programs and services like the day drop in shelter, emergency food services, Community Choice Pantry as well as the after school program, and volunteer income tax clinic.

“We have a new program we just launched, our Nourish program, which is helping individuals build life skills and cooking and things like that, and much more, and even summer camps,” Sadowy said. “It supports us year round so we’re able to help people and restore hope and dignity on a daily basis and help people out of the cycle of poverty.”

Last year, the campaign was able to exceed its goal, and both Sadowy and Roche are hoping to see the same this year.

“When I’m at the kettle and people say ‘I’m so sorry I’ve only got a little bit of change’, I always say ‘If everybody felt that way and only gave a little bit of change, it would be amazing at how much money we could raise,’ ” Roche said.

To become a volunteer, go online to volunteer.sacfs.ca and book a kettle shift or call 613-531-5918.

To donate, go online to http://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-salvation-army-kingston-citadel/ or call 613-531-5918.

jmckay@postmedia.com – Twitter.com/JMcKayPhoto

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