Volunteer Marc Cote hard at work for the Kettle Campaign at the Mistletoe Fair on November 19.

by Gay Pratt and Brandon Mayer

It’s that time of year again, and the bells are ringing out across the town of Kemptville. The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign has begun with a huge kick off event at the Canadian Tire “Spirit of Giving” event on November 18, where there were gift baskets to be won, a Stuff the Cruiser for toy collection, a bouncy castle, Fat Les’s chip stand, a band, and of course an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.

If you have a desire to give back to your community because you believe in helping the vulnerable population in our area and treating everyone with dignity and respect, please come and volunteer for The Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. Volunteering is a great way to catch the spirit of Christmas, and an effective way to help those in need. With its iconic red kettle, The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign counts on the passion of volunteers like you to help people in need all through the year, and especially at Christmas.

The shifts are 2 hour time slots between 10 am and 8 pm every day except Sunday.

This is a perfect opportunity for seniors, individuals and families, and is also a great opportunity for students to obtain their required volunteer hours. 

It’s important to note that each Kettle location (B&H, Food Basics, Independent, Walmart, Canadian Tire, Giant Tiger, LCBO, Winchester Foodland and Osgoode Foodland) is organized and managed by the local Salvation Army at 2 Oxford St West, and the funds that are raised stay in the local catchment area.

The Kettle Campaign is vitally important due to the ongoing impact of inflation, and supports individuals and families with a variety of essential needs, including food and clothing assistance, income tax preparation, snowsuits for kids, backpacks and school supplies for students, a hair cutting clinic, an emergency shelter and many other individual needs. The Salvation Army aims to raise awareness about the disparity that exists within our community, and the fact that every person is deserving of compassion and respect. 

“I challenge able-bodied retired or semi-retired people in and around North Grenville to join the group of Kettle Campaign volunteers!” said Salvation Army Volunteer, Marc Cote. “Future generations will thank you!” Marc notes that the generous donations received at events throughout the community, including the recent Mistletoe Fair, show just how positive the community is when it comes to helping people in need. However, the Salvation Army cannot do its important work without the volunteer labour that keeps the Kettle Campaign ticking. 

Marc is in his 80s, and has been volunteering for decades. He sees no reason why volunteers can’t start young and give years of service to their community. He also extends a reminder that kindness is free. Not everyone has the means to give when they pass by a Bell Ringer volunteering for the Kettle Campaign, but a smile or a nod and a “thank you” can go a long way. 

Come one and all, and be a Bell Ringer for the Kemptville Salvation Army to help us “Give Hope Today”. For more information, contact Gay Pratt, The Salvation Army Kemptville, Kettle Coordinator at 613 258 3583, or drop in at 2 Oxford Street West.


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