Salvation Army begins recruitment for Kettle Campaign

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

It might feel a little early to start thinking about the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign, but organizers hope you will.

The Salvation Army Family Services in Leamington is looking for 50 to 60 volunteers to greet donors for two-hour shifts starting November 18. Those that help out only need to bring their friendly disposition.

The campaign will have a presence at several stores in Leamington and Kingsville again this year. Volunteer Coordinator Joyce Walker hopes it’ll be easier to find volunteers now that COVID-19 precautions have lifted.

“There’s no need to wear masks now in stores, and I know that was an issue. People really needed to be vaccinated last year, where they don’t really need to be this year,” she said.

Fewer volunteers to man the kettles meant fewer donations, and Walker admitted it hurt the Salvation Army’s bottom line.

“Last year, it was really hard to find volunteers, and we had a low year,” she explained. “We have a lot of homeless coming to us. We have more and more families that need us, so we really need to be able to get out there because those funds are our budget for the next year.”

Walker anticipates the need will only grow as families grapple with the rising inflation and the cost of food.

“We had been blessed, in the fact that we have been able to keep our food bank open and running, not turning anybody away, but there’s other services that we had wanted to start within the year that we have not been able to,” she said.

This year’s campaign goal is $120,000.

Last year’s campaign in Windsor also disappointed organizers. Executive Director of the Salvation Army Windsor Centre of Hope, Danny Pinksen, said it fell $80,000 short of its goal of $350,000.