The Salvation Army began putting out its Christmas kettles this week to raise money not just for its Christmas hamper distribution but to maintain its food and other programs during the year.
Sabrina Silvey, who captain of the Salvation Army in Terrace, hopes the kettles and other donations will raise $70,000, all of it to be spent locally to meet local needs.
Last year the Army distributed hampers to approximately 1,000 people and Silvey would not be surprised if that will be the same this year or even higher once applications have been sorted.
“It’s been a hard year for a lot of people,” said Silvey. “We’ve been getting more requests for help from double-income families because of the cost of living.”
Last year half of the hamper recipients were young people.
Compared to traditional hampers of food stuffs, the Army has shifted to gift cards for groceries.
“This way families can buy the food they like that makes Christmas special,” Silvey said.
While toys will still be provided for children, teens from 13 to 17 will instead get gift cards.
“We’ve found that teens like to buy their own items,” Silvey said.
Kettles can be found at Safeway, Walmart and Canadian Tire from noon to 7 p.m. and at the Royal Bank during its opening hours.
“They’ll be there right up until Dec. 24,” Silvey emphasized.
The Army’s mobile kitchen van will be at Save On Foods Dec. 10 and Safeway Dec. 16 from noon to 4 p.m. each day to provide lunch in exchange for donations.
“It goes on alert whenever there’s an emergency around the province,” said Silvey of the van’s ability to travel where and when needed.
Locals will also recognize the van from its many appearances at community events. It’s also at the Garage, the social services hub on Kalum near the Northern Health building, every Thursday for anyone who needs a hot meal.
People can drop off unwrapped toys or other items for hampers at the Salvation Army’s church building on the corner of Sparks and Park. Distribution will happen Dec. 15 to Dec. 17.
“I have an amazing team of volunteers who gather to help put the hampers together,” said Silvey.
Those wishing to volunteer at the kettle locations can do so by calling the Silvey at 250-635-5446, Extension 1.
“Terrace has been so generous over the years,” said Silvey. “We just could not to it without the generosity and help of the people here.”