The Christmas season is already upon the valley and not many are working harder than the Salvation Army to make sure that Christmas is special for everyone in the community.
On Friday, November 24 at 11 a.m., they kicked off the annual Kettle Campaign at Freson Bros. The annual Kettle Campaign helps to fund the Salvation Army Community Services for the entire year. The Freson Bros. Kettle is sponsored by the Drumheller Rotary Club.
“All of the money that comes in through the Christmas Kettle Campaign and Christmas mail outs, comes back into the community. It goes into the food bank, our financial aid programs, emergency assistance for people, it all channels back in the community,” said Captain Jennifer Hillier
She says because there is no longer a Co-op grocery store, they will be short one kettle.
“We are needing to raise the same amount of money in three kettles that we did in four, and we anticipate doing that just because this community has been so generous in the past and values some of the work the Salvation Army does and the food bank,” said Hillier.
Already the Church has been busy. Last week they began registering families wishing to receive a hamper over the Christmas season. Hillier says they anticipate similar numbers compared to last season.
“Last year we did about 130 so we are expecting to be in that range, hoping that it hasn’t increased,” said Hillier. “I keep hearing the economy has picked up a bit but I am still meeting a lot of people out of work and needing help.”
Hillier said Westergard Ford will be hosting the Salvation Army’s Happy Tree. The tree will be adorned with bulbs with the children’s wishes for Christmas.
“So if anyone wants to custom buy donations for a particular child, they can stop by Westergard Ford, pick up one of those bulbs and buy specifically what that child wants for Christmas,” said Hillier.
When looking at the need over previous years she says they expect the demand will be for gifts for teenagers. This is often a gap that is more difficult to fill. Suitable gifts are often gift cards like iTunes or for some local shops. Last year she said there were many requests for passes to the Badlands Community Facility.
In the meantime, volunteer opportunities are available for the kettle campaign.
“We are busy filling our shifts, I am hoping that because we don’t have as many shifts to fill that we’ll be okay, but we are always in need of volunteers,” she said.
Kettle shifts are just two hours, and the kettles will be at Freson Bros, Extra Foods, and the Wal-Mart.