The Salvation Army’s 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign is little bit different this year.
In response to COVID-19 safety measures, the charity is equipping hundreds of kettles across B.C. with “touchless giving technology.” With a tap of a debit or credit card on a specified amount, community members across the province can safely donate to help millions living at or below the poverty level. Cash, changes and cheques are still accepted and extra cleaning protocols will be in place.
“The reality is we still have to raise money to serve our communities and we hope this new technology is the answer to our worries this year,” said Patricia Mamic, Salvation Army spokesperson.
This holiday season marks the 130th year of the Christmas Kettle Campaign, which aims to raise $21.6 million nation-wide. Mamic emphasizes that COVID-19 has left many families in crisis and increased the the need for community support. The Salvation Army provides food, clothing and shelter to vulnerable community members.
On Dec. 1, Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes kicked off the campaign by giving the inaugural donation of the season – he contributed cash and gave a tap donation to demonstrate the contactless system at the kettle outside municipal hall.
“The Salvation Army, as many people know, is one of the major groups helping people who are struggling,” Haynes said. “It’s one of the charities that my wife, Cathy, and I have supported for many years.”
He noted hopes to see people find ways to be kind to themselves and to those in need during this unusual holiday season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Haynes emphasized that he knows many Saanich residents have their own favourite charities and give generously over the holidays every year but said donations will be even more important this year.
“In some areas, we are seeing a 200 to 300 per cent increase in people who need our support,” she said. “The funds from our Kettle program this month are going to be vital in order to meet that need.”
All Christmas kettle donations remain in the community in which they are given.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact lives, it is expected that the need for support will continue to grow at an alarming rate in the coming months,” says Mamic. “We can’t do it alone; please find a kettle on the street and give generously if you are able to.”
Christmas kettles can be found at various locations including Walmart, London Drugs and BC Liquor Stores.
Donations are also accepted online at FilltheKettle.com or by calling 1-800-725-2769.
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