Lack of volunteers leaves Salvation Army’s kettle drive in lurch
robin kuniski/for metro calgary
Filled with holiday hope, the Salvation Army is urging Calgarians to volunteer time for the kettle campaign and save Christmas for local families in need.
The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Drive is 800 volunteers short of what’s needed to make the program a success — and it’s causing huge concern for the organization.
“We need people to step up to the plate and volunteer and we need people to step up and donate. If we can manage to collect more than one million in the next two weeks, it will be a Christmas miracle of epic proportions,” Maj. Ken Percy of the Alberta Salvation Army told Metro.
Percy says the organization is far behind last year’s numbers at this point and with the low turnout of volunteers it will be hard to catch up. The Salvation Army needs to collect $1.4 million total and so far has only collected $270,000. There are only about two weeks left to collect $1.1 million.
“I have faith in Calgarians. They help when asked but right now I’m not asking, I’m begging. If we can’t raise the money needed a lot of our programs will be affected and that affects the families in need.”
For each three-hour kettle shift, one family of four will be given the chance to celebrate Christmas. The 800-strong shortage approximately amounts to 800 families that may be affected this season.
Salvation Army’s Calgary spokesperson Rizalyn Reyes said there are 67 kettles in malls across Calgary but that number has often been lower during peak times.
“The problem is we don’t have enough volunteers manning the kettles. We’ve had to cut back on kettles during peak times which means there are fewer kettles for Calgarians to donate to,” she said.
The organization is pleading with people to donate some time to help out. A kettle shift can be as short as three hours and will be worth so much more to those who need it.