With a goal of collecting $525,000 in Ottawa, Sally Ann’s iconic Christmas kettles are out in full force.
After last week’s kickoff, the Salvation Army Christmas Kettles program will see more than 500 volunteers manning 40 kettles across Ottawa full time starting Monday.
The Christmas season yields about 50 per cent of the total funds raised by the Salvation Army each year.
“This is definitely a time that is very culturally identified with the Salvation Army,” said the Salvation Army’s area spokesman Michael Maidment.
While the kettles are tradition, the organization is trying to make it easy for people to give in a tech-savvy world.
“We realize people are looking for convenience, and as we rely on cash less and less, we can’t necessarily rely on physical kettles. We have to meet the needs of the donors. If they want to give that way, we’re willing to develop the technology to help them do that.”
This year, the Salvation Army has several new initiatives, including a Google Map technology, which maps out the 2,000 physical kettles across Canada.
Users can find their favourite, or the closest kettle, and make a donation, Maidment said.
“You can give in Ottawa, or if you grew up in Montreal, or have an affinity for work done in a city, you can give there, or track a kettle in your neighbourhood,” he said.
Another new initiative is fillthekettle.com, which incorporates the pre-existing iKettle program that allows users to fundraise among family and friends online.