The Salvation Army’s kettle campaign is kicking off slightly later in the holiday season than normal and will look different this year, thanks to the ongoing health pandemic.
Last year, it had already kicked off by this time but the season for 2020 starts Nov. 27.
Community ministry director for The Salvation Army in the Bulkley Valley Adam Marshall said COVID-19 health precautions have delayed the start.
“This year, because of COVID and the reduction of how many kettles are out there this year, we are hoping to start on the 27th, and hoping to have a big kick off that day,” he said.
There will be less locations this year, making it easier to manage them with health protocols.
“We previously had seven kettles, but we’ve been asked to reduce because of other avenues and responses from other locations that we have been previously at. We will do one hour outdoor shifts, instead of two hour ones. Logistically it adds to our plates but we’ve go to do what we’ve got to do,” he added.
Last year almost $40,000 was brought in from the kettle campaign.
“We are projecting a bit of a loss this year, it has been a hard year on everyone. We fully understand why, but it is a challenge to try and mitigate and make sure we can maintain our services,” Marshall said.
There will be two kettle locations and both will also have debit machines.
“It provides a cashless option, especially right now with COVID handling money comes with germs and risks,” he said.
Some Salvation Army kettle campaigns have introduced a tap option for credit and debit cards but the machines for the local campaign have been delayed.
Most of the money raised from the kettles stays in the Bulkley Valley.
The Salvation Army advertises that 86 cents for every dollar goes right back into the community. The other 14 cents goes towards administration costs.
“Primarily, here in the Bulkley Valley we pride ourselves in the food bank and also continue to try and offer more programming for youth and life coaches and just a listening ear for anyone that needs to vent or go for a coffee. We really want to offer that close relational service.”