Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries is appealing for volunteers to step forward to staff the Christmas kettles this year.
As of last Thursday the local chapter had raised $30,000, around $5,000 short of what they were at the same time last year.
And, they even had to eliminate a shift – the 9:30-11:30 a.m. shift – completely across the board because there just isn’t enough volunteers, said the Ridge Meadows Ministries’ executive director Mark Stewart.
“This year the challenge that we’re having is that we don’t have as many volunteers,” noted Stewart, adding that last year there were people who were not working due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also more people working from home, so it was easier for people to pick up shifts.
There are eight kettles around town that require staffing, in addition to several table top locations.
Stewart hopes they can find volunteers for Friday and Saturday evenings, nights when they tend to receive more donations.
He is also hoping to recruit at least 40 more volunteers.
“Volunteers are tough because you think that you have volunteers and then the next thing you know three people can’t make it,” he said.
“We need volunteers, especially as we get closer to Christmas,” said Amelia Norrie, fundraising coordinator with the Ridge Meadows Ministries.
Currently, they are looking forward to Walmart Fill The Kettle Day on Saturday, Dec. 18. It’s a national, annual initiative where Walmart matches all donations made at the kettle in front of their store.
Last year Whonnock Roofing looked after the kettle for almost the entire day, said Norrie.
“We didn’t have to worry about the kettle being staffed,” she added.
Norrie remarked there are many ways to donate this year. There are contactless kettles at ValleyFair Mall, Canadian Superstore, and the Save-On-Foods 203 Street and Lougheed Highway location.
People can also donate online at ridgemeadowssa.ca/programs/christmas-kettle-campaign/.
Also, hockey fans attending the Ridge Meadows Flames game at Planet Ice on Dec. 17 can receive free entry to the game if they bring a new, unwrapped toy for donation to the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family campaign. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at 23588 Jim Robson Way.
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