Salvation Army kicks off Christmas Kettle Campaign
AMHERST - The year 1891 was the year of Springhill’s first mining disaster, the year James Naismith invented basketball and the year Michelin patented the removable pneumatic bicycle tire.
It was also the first year the Salvation Army held a Kettle Campaign, which was started in San Francisco by Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee to provide a free Christmas dinner for the poor people of San Francisco.
The tradition continued with the Christmas Kettle Campaign kickoff Saturday at Amherst Centre Mall.
“We hope we make $42,000 again this year,” said Chad Ingram, Salvation Army captain. “That’s what we made last year, and the economy wasn’t the greatest, so it shows the generosity of people in Cumberland County.”
Kettles are being manned full time at Walmart and the Superstore in Amherst, and part time at the Amherst Centre Mall and Giant Tiger.
They will also be set up in Springhill at Foodland, Pharmasave and the liquor store.
“We usually go to the Co-op in Pugwash but we’re having trouble getting volunteers, so we can’t confirm if well be there yet,” said Ingram.
Karen Morris is the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign co-ordinator.
She started volunteering with the local Kettle Campaign in 2011, and she’s now a member of the Salvation Army and leads the Wednesday night youth group in Springhill.
“I was pretty down and out when I started coming to the Salvation Army and I walked in the door and Sergeant Major Mary Ann (Varner) was standing there and she was so welcoming and warm,” said Morris. “She didn’t even know me and invited me in. I’ve been there ever since and it really helped me a lot in my own life to put things in perspective. I’m a different person now than I was then. I decided I could stand for two hours as a way of thanks. It’s very, very reward- ing.”
The Kettle Campaign is the Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser.
“We set a budget for assistance and every year we go over budget, so the need is great,” said Ingram.
The money helps with projects throughout the year.
“Whether it’s a single mom needing help getting stuff for her kids going to school or some- body who needs a pair of work boots, we try to help people who are stuck, like families that are cold in the winter time or people in emergency situations such as a fire,” said Ingram.
Volunteers are always welcome, and Ingram says people volunteer for different reasons.
“Some people like to watch the hustle and bustle of Christmas and be a part of it,” he said. “Some volunteers do it to support the Salvation Army and some people do it because they like the social aspect.
“I would encourage anyone to come out to stand for one two-hour shift. If they like it they can come out for more and if they don’t like it we thank them for their shift.”
Anybody who would like to volunteer for the campaign can call Karen Morris at 902-6648338, call the Salvation Army in Springhill at 902-597-3954, or call their Thrift Stores at 902597-2130 or 902-667-5882.
Salvation Army captain Chad Ingram and Christmas Kettle Campaign co-ordinator Karen Morris kicked of the 2014 Christmas Kettle Campaign Saturday at Amherst Centre Mall.