The Salvation Army’s Christmas Campaign

The+Salvation+Army%E2%80%99s+Christmas+Campaign

Mikayla Banman, Writer

“The Salvation Army’s annual holiday campaign seeks donations from the public to help millions of Canadians living in poverty.”

Every year during Christmas time we hear the jingle of bells and see the Salvation Army kettle, but have you ever considered what The Salvation Army truly does? How many of you pass by without a thought or even a glance at the volunteer ringing those bells? I for one, am guilty of the above. After learning more about their Christmas campaign, and getting to sit and chat with a couple of employees at The Salvation Army, my thoughts are different. Let me share a few facts with you: Last year, The Salvation Army helped over 1.85 million people in need. There are more than 2,000 Kettle locations across Canada. The money they receive from the Kettles goes toward providing items for families in need. It is the organization’s largest fundraising drive of the year, and they have a 21 million dollar fundraising goal.
Whenever I pass a kettle I am now aware of what that money is going towards, and the people’s lives I can impact just by giving my change.

“The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world.”

During Christmas families can sign up, make an appointment, come through the processors, then go through the verification desk and finally, meet with caseworkers. Often when families meet with caseworkers it’s discovered that The Salvation Army can help them out with more than what they came in for. Sometimes people just need to have somewhere to talk; meetings with caseworkers provide that safe place. The caseworker’s goal is to get their guests out uplifted; many people go in just for Christmas and leave with a feeling of hope. People who come in for help aren’t called clients, but guests. Volunteers and employees want to make their guests feel that they are special and worthy, somebody who is cherished. After the entire signing up process of is complete, parents fill out Christmas toy sheets with a specific gift their child wants for Christmas. The Salvation Army uses those toy sheets to compile a list of the most wanted and needed toys for Christmas. This year, well over 1,000 children and approximately 570 families are booked for Christmas toy tickets. Once the families are registered for Christmas, they get their pickup ticket. On pickup day, families will go down to The Salvation Army’s church, and will get a gift card for their Christmas dinner that they can go and purchase themselves. The Salvation Army gives parents the opportunity to shop for their child on their own, restoring the dignity in asking for help. At the end of the day, The Salvation Army tries to provide each child with some sort of colouring book or craft, a small, medium and large toy, a puzzle or a board game, a book, a handful of stocking stuffers, a soccer ball, baseball or teddy bear, a toque, mitts, and a scarf. This year, a lady in the community also called into The Salvation Army and offered to donate a pair of pajamas and one book for every child under 8. It really is incredible when the community gives back. This campaign is a massive deal and provides Christmas for each child that goes through The Salvation Army’s doors.

This is an awesome organization that gives hope, encouragement and comfort to thousands of people in our community each year. Next time you see a kettle, I encourage you to take the opportunity to contribute!

Visit The Salvation Army’s Website for more information! The Salvation Army