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Salvation Army looking to raise $65K during this year’s kettle campaign

The Salvation Army launched its 2022 kettle campaign with a kickoff event at the Co-op grocery store on Nov. 28.

Holding his credit card against the tap machine to make a $20 donation, Mayor Clive Tolley became the first resident to contribute to the Salvation Army’s 2022 kettle campaign.

The machine’s beep — the campaign’s new sound instead of traditional handbells — indicated the payment was received. 

“I’m pleased to be able to (contribute because) the tradition (is) the mayor typically puts the first donation in to (help launch) the campaign for the season. I’m pleased to do that,” Tolley said on Nov. 28 at the Co-op grocery store during the charity’s kick off of its largest fundraiser — and one of many during this season.

“I’m also very pleased to see that we’ve got an electronic giving opportunity here, the Tap-2-Give. Most people don’t carry much cash with them anymore.” 

Tolley commended the Co-op for supporting the campaign for decades. He noted that he has shopped there since he was a “wee fellow” and the kettles have always been present. 

Michaela Turner, Co-op’s community relations manager, presented a gift card of $1,000 to the charity, noting it does good work year-round.

“We’re very excited to be good partners to the Salvation Army … ,” she said. “We know the need is greater than ever again this year. Unfortunately, it seems to be increasing each year.”

This is the third year the Salvation Army has had tap machines, with the devices contributing to a successful 2021 campaign, explained Lt. Lester Ward. Four locations will have the tap machines this year: Safeway, Superstore, the Co-op and Walmart.

“It’s a privilege every year to have the kettle kickoff,” Ward said. 

There are eight kettle locations this year, while nationwide, there are over 2,000 places hosting a kettle. The campaign began in 1903 in Toronto and has grown during the past 119 years. 

The money raised in Moose Jaw remains here to help residents struggling at Christmas and throughout the year.

Police officers and firefighters will volunteer again this year, including Deputy Police Chief Rick Johns. He praised the campaign’s longevity, while he recalled being a rookie constable in 1997 and volunteering.

“It was (nothing) short of amazing how many people (gave), and the level of generosity I saw with people putting money into the Christmas kettle,” he said. “And I’ve seen that over and over again.”

To volunteer, contact Natalie Lund-Clysdale  at the Salvation Army office at 306-692-5899. 

The Salvation Army’s goal in 2021 was $65,000, but it raised around $70,000, showing how generous and giving residents are, said Ward. Residents have also been generous in donating their time to man the kettles.

The organization plans to keep the goal at $65,000 because living expenses and inflation continue to increase and it didn’t want to set an unachievable objective. 

“We can’t do what we do here in this city without the people behind us,” Ward said. 

The Salvation Army received 345 Christmas hamper applications from families last year, totalling 745 people — including 312 children. Those families, Ward pointed out, likely wouldn’t have had much food or toys if they hadn’t applied for support. 

It is exciting to have a toy store at the Salvation Army Church for a third-straight year because it lets parents acquire gifts for their children while maintaining their dignity, he continued. It also becomes a crying environment.

To encounter a young family that is hurting, in need, can’t afford gifts and asks for support is heartbreaking, but to realize they can — via the Salvation Army — give their kids gifts on Christmas morning is what makes the season special for Ward. 

The number of bagged breakfasts the charity hands out every weekday indicates how much people are struggling, he continued. The organization started the program in January and distributed 160 bags that month; by Oct. 31, it was distributing over 700 bagged breakfasts per month.

“So, we know that if that’s an indication of the need here in the city and surrounding areas,” Ward added, “we have no doubt this Christmas season is probably going to be one like no other.”

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