This year’s Christmas Kettle Campaign has kicked off and the Fernie Salvation Army (FSA) is looking for volunteers to help with the annual fundraiser.
Rick Robins, major with the FSA, said there are kettles at Tipple, IGS Value Drug Mart, and Eldho’s Your Independent Grocer starting Wednesday (Nov. 30), with the campaign running until Dec. 24 at 1 p.m.
“The money that’s raised stays here in the community to help people in our community,” he said.
“So, our food programs, our food share, our food bank, all of our services, our meal programs. It helps fund all of these programs.”
The FSA hopes to bring in about $10,000 this year through the kettle campaign.
Robins encouraged people to volunteer at the kettles, emphasizing that help is needed.
“We can’t make our goals and we can’t help if we don’t have the funds available to give that support in the community,” he said.
“And we get the funds when volunteers come and help us stand on the kettle.”
“As we’ve always said, our volunteers are the army behind the army. They’re the ones that help us do what we do.”
Lucas Desjarlais and Andrew Kennedy of the Fernie Ghostriders were members of that ‘army behind the army,’ spending their time volunteering at the kettle by the IGS shop on 2nd Ave on Wednesday afternoon. Ghostrider players were present volunteering at all three locations that day.
Desjarlais said it’s ‘nice to give back’.
“Obviously, we’re supported very well, our team in this community, when we’re getting 600-plus fans a game, more than any other team in the league,” he said.
“We got the best fans in the league, so it’s nice to be out here giving back to our community. It’s just a great place to be.”
Those who are interested in volunteering at a kettle can get in touch with the FSA at 250-423-4661.
Robins said “If people can spare a couple hours to come help us out on a kettle, we greatly appreciate it.”
He also spoke about their broader Christmas fundraising effort, which saw mail sent to homes across the Elk Valley explaining the mission of the FSA and requesting support.
They are hoping to raise about $45,000 through the mail campaign.
“It’s just a letter about the programs that we do, and what we do, and why we do what we do,” he said.
“And that your funds help support us and the community, and helps give hope to others each and every day.”