Columns: Help make a difference

The Salvation Army’s familiar Christmas kettles are a sure sign that we are in the season of giving.

The Salvation Army’s familiar Christmas kettles are a sure sign that we are in the season of giving.

I had the pleasure of helping the Salvation Army kick off its 2015 kettle campaign in Williams Lake last Saturday.

You will see the clear plastic “bubbles” from now until Christmas Eve at six locations around Williams Lake – all staffed by local volunteers.

Finding enough volunteers is always a challenge for the local campaign, says Captain Ben Lippers.

If you can donate a few hours of your time, call kettle co-ordinator Sandra Dickson at 250-392-1072, or Captain Lippers at 250-302-2917.

This year’s kettle campaign goal in Williams Lake is $65,000, which will go toward purchasing food hampers and toys for local families.

Last year, between the kettles and corporate donations, about $128,000 was raised, said Captain Lippers, who hopes to duplicate that amount this year.

Hamper applications from families are now being received. Drop in to the dining hall on Borland Avenue between 1 and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday to register.

Captain Lippers expects there will be more than 500 food hampers distributed to local families this Christmas, plus about 315 toys to local children. As well, the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas dinner takes place at noon on Christmas Day at the dining hall.

The kettle campaign has been an annual event in Williams Lake since 1982, but the kettles have been a familiar sight across Canada for more than 100 years.

The first Canadian kettles were in St. John’s, N.L., in 1906. Today, they are seen in more than 2,000 locations nationwide, making the kettle campaign one of our country’s best-loved and most recognizable charity events. And it’s so easy to become a part of it.

Please donate whatever you can whenever you pass the kettles this Christmas season – and don’t forget to offer up your services to volunteer for a couple of hours.

Together, we can make a difference for so many families.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

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