The first Salvation Army kettle campaign worker of the year in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows is four-year-old Carmindy. Kettle workers must be 16 to work on their own. (Contributed)

The first Salvation Army kettle campaign worker of the year in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows is four-year-old Carmindy. Kettle workers must be 16 to work on their own. (Contributed)

Salvation Army Kettle Campaign kicks off

Volunteers needed in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

As the Christmas season nears, the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign kicks off in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, and there is a need for volunteers.

The goal this year is $90,000, which would beat last year’s all-time high of $87,000, said Darrell Pilgrim, executive director with the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries.

He said the funds all stay local, and support programs such as Sonia’s Cradle, which provides baby necessities such as diapers and formula to families that need support.

Last year, the funds helped 244 families with babies.

The Community Meal Program is the most frequently accessed at the Salvation Army, offering approximately 65,000 meals last year, and there are many other programs offered.

Pilgrim said his organization asks people manning the donation kettles to work two-hour shifts. They are at 10 locations throughout Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

“We look at it as a great way to spread Christmas joy, to smile at people you meet, and wish everyone merry Christmas.”

Some people offer even more cheer, and many kettle volunteers sing, play instruments or even juggle.

“It’s a simple way, a great way, for our community to show we are all working together to make it better for everybody,” said Pilgrim.

• Anyone interested in volunteering can call Jamie Dembowski at 604-463-8296 extension 104, or email bellringer@saridgemeadows.com.