Last year, The Salvation Army had a little help from Batman and Robin as it launched its Christmas Kettle campaign in the Central Okanagan. —Image: Capital News file

Salvation Army ready to kick off Christmas Kettle campaign in Central Okanagan

Sally Ann will have collection kettles, manned by an army of volunteers, out as of Thursday

The Salvation Army in the Central Okanagan will kick off its 2018 Christmas Kettle campaign Thursday and it is inviting community to gather at its Community Life Centre on Rutland Road South to celebrate.

“This is our opportunity to showcase our Community Life Centre operations,” said Sonia Withers, community ministries coordinator.

“There are many in our community who are not aware of the scope of what we do at the Community Life Centre, so we would like to take this opportunity to share our operations. From our casework offices and program facilities, to our commercial kitchen and food bank operations, this is a very active facility that is impacting our community on a daily basis.”

RELATED: Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign kicks off

Last year, The Salvation Army assisted nearly 600 local families through its Christmas Food and Toy Blessing Program, bringing what it called “toy joy” to more than 1,100 children and teens, a 13 per cent increase over 2016.

That was in addition to the regular assistance provided every day through the Rutland centre and the West Kelowna one in Westbank, which has seen an eight per cent increase in demand so far this year.

The funds raised through the annual Christmas Kettle campaign allow The Salvation Army to continue to support the community at Christmas and throughout the rest of the year, said the organization Tuesday.

The Kettle campaign’s success is dependent on what the Sally Ann calls its “army” of volunteers, who ring bells while manning collection kettles during two- hour shifts from Nov. 15 to Dec. 24 outside businesses throughout the Central Okanagan.

With 5000 volunteer hours to fill, the Salvation Army is currently looking for people to help with the campaign. To sign up, go to kelownasalvationarmy.ca, email kettles@kelsa.ca or call 250-860-2329, local 324.

The 2018 Kettle campaign kick-off will take place at 9 a.m. at the Salvation Army’s Community Centre at 200 Rutland Road South.

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