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Kentville Salvation Army in need of support to meet 2017 Christmas kettle campaign goal

Capt. Kelly Fifield of the Kentville Salvation Army and Christmas kettle campaign co-ordinator Les Harris hope for another record-setting effort this year in support of Valley families in need.
Capt. Kelly Fifield of the Kentville Salvation Army and Christmas kettle campaign co-ordinator Les Harris hope that more people will volunteer to stand with kettles and that more donations come in during the final days of the campaign so that the charitable organization’s fundraising goal can be met. - File Photo

KENTVILLE, NS - Whether it’s donating money or volunteering to stand with a kettle, the Kentville Salvation Army is in need of support.

With only days remaining in the 2017 Christmas Kettle Campaign, there is concern that a lack of donations could impact services provided by the charitable organization over the coming year.

Capt. Kelly Fifield said in a Dec. 15 interview that kettle donations were down over the same point last year, by about 10 per cent. She said they caught up a bit over the last week and were excited to see that. However, heading into the last full weekend of the campaign and with just over a week to go before it concludes on Dec. 23, she said it’s important to get the word out and to let people know that they’re down.

“We’re hoping that people will get out there this weekend, that they’ll see the kettles and be able to drop something in there,” Fifield said.

An overall goal of $147,000 was set for this year’s campaign, including kettle donations and walk-in and mail-in donations. The goal for the kettles specifically is $122,000. Just under $60,000 had been raised through kettles as of Dec. 15, about $6,000 short of the same point last year. She said that if there isn’t an increase, she expects that they’ll fall short by about $15,000 on kettle donations.

Their budget is due every year after Christmas. Fifield said they have to evaluate where they are and what they’re able to offer. This can mean having some hard conversations and making some hard decisions about what they’re going to be able to do in the coming year and how to sustain the work they do for the community.

“We may have to change the way that looks a little bit but we’ll still be here, we’ll still be serving, that’s never going to be the concern, but what we’re able to do and offer and the amounts we’re able to do that with may be impacted,” she said.

Fifield said they recognize that times are financially tight for many right now and they are very thankful for the generosity people have already shown. She said if there are others who can give, the Salvation Army greatly appreciates the support.

They’re also in need of volunteers willing to take shifts and stand with kettles. These shifts can be as short as two hours. If they aren’t able to put the kettles out, they can’t receive donations. Fifield points out that if people don’t have money to donate, they can give of themselves by donating their time.

Anyone able to donate time to stand with kettles is asked to call campaign co-ordinator Les Harris at 902-690-5703.

The 13 kettle locations include the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) in Berwick; Foodland, Independent Grocery and the NSLC in Kentville; the Superstore, Sobeys, Giant Tiger, Walmart and Canadian Tire in New Minas; the NSLC in Wolfville and the Superstore, Sobeys and NSLC in Windsor.

People can host an online kettle or make an online donation to the Kentville Salvation Army campaign by visiting www.fillthekettle.com.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

Click here for an earlier story about this year’s kettle campaign.

Click here for a story on the Salvation Army Angel Tree.

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