You’ve seen them around town, they’ve come to symbolize the arrival of the holiday season.
This year is no different as volunteers are out manning donation buckets for The Salvation Army’s annual Kettle Drive.
Although the campaign lasts just a few short weeks, the money raised is used throughout the year to affect change for the good and to help cover costs, Rick Apperson, ministry director of the Smithers Salvation Army, said.
The goal is $25,000, but usually the campaign raises around $30,000, Apperson said.
Apperson, a six-year veteran with The Salvation Army in Smithers and Houston, said the money is put to good use, including the purchase of food, soup and supplies for the Salvation drop in centre, overhead, as well as sending about 14 youths to summer camp.
Just a few weeks into the campaign, Apperson said the community support in the form of donations has been great.
This year, indications are $30,000 may not be enough as Apperson has seen a 70 per cent increase in the amount of food distributed and a 30 per cent increase in the number of adults accessing the food bank for the first time.
“In September, between Houston and Smithers, we had 100 new people access the food bank,” Apperson said.
“We’re seeing a lot more working poor.
“Their paycheques just aren’t making it.”
There are still some two-hour slots unfilled, Apperson said.
Anyone willing to donate a bit of time to man a kettle station is encouraged to call Apperson at 250-847-1501.