TORONTO – You can see the need. Heading into the holiday season there are going to be a lot of calls for help, and one of the places, especially here in Thunder Bay who answer those calls is the Salvation Army.
It’s been a difficult year for Canadians. The Salvation Army has seen the number of people needing support skyrocket almost five times over last year in some locations across the country. It is a worrying and unprecedented jump not seen since the Second World War by the organization. And, as the coronavirus continues to impact lives, it is expected that the need for support will continue to grow in the coming months. As the urgency increases, The Salvation Army officially launches its 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign – the organization’s largest public fundraising drive of the year.
You can help as well by donating unneeded household goods and clothing to the Salvation Army stores on Memorial Avenue and Red River Road here in Thunder Bay. Did you know your donations there are used in our community?
This year, due to the coronavirus, more and more people are facing new financial challenges and frightening realities. The Salvation Army has seen a 19% increase in the number of people who have visited The Salvation Army this year because of delayed wages. Furthermore, people listing homelessness as their reason for visits has doubled since 2019.
“This year, we see evidence that the people we serve are struggling like never before,” says Lt-Colonel John P. Murray, spokesperson for The Salvation Army. “We refuse to let the pandemic steal their Christmas joy. That’s why The Salvation Army is providing those in need with food, shelter and other essentials. We need the help and support of Canadians who can donate more now than ever.”
With a national $23 million fundraising goal, the Christmas Kettle Campaign enables The Salvation Army to provide practical assistance to thousands of families and individuals who have met with hard times. Last year, across the country, The Salvation Army helped more than 1.9 million people, providing 3.3 million free meals, assisting 233,000 with Christmas food hampers and toys, and over 1.3 million with food, clothing or practical help.
Contributions to the kettle campaign allow The Salvation Army to continue operating its life-changing programs, such as substance-use recovery, housing support, job and skills training and budgeting classes. At 2,000 kettle locations across Canada, every donation to a Christmas kettle remains in the community in which it was given, to support local needs.
Each year, The Salvation Army relies on the support of thousands of kettle workers who volunteer their time and energy to collect donations at each of our kettle locations across the country. Furthermore, the campaign would not be possible without the support of numerous corporate partners, including Walmart Canada, the CBC, Rogers Communications, BellMedia, Loblaw Companies Limited, Costco, BC Liquor Stores, LCBO (in Ontario), Canadian Tire, Cadillac Fairview, Oxford Properties, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Morguard, Metro, Safeway, Save-on-Foods, Sobeys, Bass Pro Shops, The Salvation Army National Recycling Operations (thrift stores) and many more, who allow Christmas kettles to be placed at their stores or an opportunity to donate.
Beyond donating to The Salvation Army’s Christmas kettles, FilltheKettle.com, a Salvation Army mobile site, will enable donors to give through their mobile devices or computers. Users of FilltheKettle.com can also host their own online kettle and encourage their friends, family, neighbours and co-workers to donate to The Salvation Army.