The Salvation Army's Kettle Campaign. (Photo courtesy The Salvation Army)

Volunteers wanted for Kettle Campaign

One of the most recognizable holiday campaigns is hoping to fill some volunteer spaces before gearing up for their annual launch.

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign is set to kick off in Chatham-Kent on November 14. According to Captain Karen Holland with only a few weeks left to go, the organization is still looking to fill around 700 volunteer spots to stand at kettles across the municipality.

“We’re really low in our volunteers,” said Holland. “Every year we seem to have fewer and fewer. Population ageing and that kind of thing. So we’re really in desperate need of volunteers to man our kettles.”

Holland said all kettle locations are indoors and representatives from the Salvation Army are willing to work with volunteers to find time slots that work best for them.

“Each shift is two hours long. So you can really do as little or as much as you want. If two hours isn’t worth your time coming out, we can book you for four hours. It doesn’t matter, we’ll work with you. But we can’t have the kettles out unless we have somebody there with them,” she explained.

Holland said it’s also a perfect opportunity for high school students to bank some mandatory volunteer hours.

“It’s very easy for them to get their hours in doing that and they can do them as a team,” she said. “We can have two of them standing at a kettle at a time if that’s easier for them or not as lonely for them.”

As for the campaign itself, money donated at the kettles stays local and helps families during the holiday season. As well, it helps the Salvation Army run various programs throughout the year. Last year, $485,752 was raised across Chatham-Kent for the Kettle Campaign. This year, the goal is $480,000. Holland said they are also going to have a new payment option to accommodate people who come across a kettle and want to donate but don’t have any cash on them.

“This year we’re going to try that out,” she said. “We’re going to have two of the tap to donate handheld machines. They’ll be randomly placed at different places throughout the season. We’re going to check and see how that works out for us this year.”

To volunteer with the Christmas Kettle Campaign contact The Salvation Army of Chatham-Kent at 519-354-8353.