Abbotsford, BC, November 13th, 2020 – The Salvation Army –Abbotsford will officially launch its 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign on Monday, November 23rd, its largest public fundraising drive of the year. The Salvation Army provides practical assistance in 400 communities across the country to vulnerable individuals at Christmastime and throughout the year. As the coronavirus continues to impact lives, it is expected that the need for support will continue to grow in the coming months.
“Folks will notice some changes this year, fewer kettle locations, 13 in Abbotsford and 5 in Mission, hosted by wonderful volunteers and paid workers, comments Kim Hissink, Fundraising Coordinator, “we are equipping everyone with PPE and adhering to local and provincial guidelines for social distancing.” “The traditional kettle kick-off event that is hosted by The Abbotsford Pilots will not take place this year, but we are getting creative and will be producing a short kick-off video that will be uploaded for everyone to enjoy”, continues Hissink. “The Angel Tree will once again be in Sevenoaks Shopping Centre from November 30th to December 14th – allowing the community to choose tags and shop for the wish list of local children.”
With a national $23 million fundraising goal, and a goal for Abbotsford/Mission of $150,000, the Christmas Kettle Campaign enables local Salvation Army units to provide practical assistance to thousands of individuals and families who have met with hard times. This year due to the coronavirus, more and more people are facing new financial challenges and frightening realities.
Locally, the “R” family knows firsthand how The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign supports vulnerable families. “With gratitude and a brimming heart, our family would like to express how impactful The Salvation Army Centre of Hope has been in our lives during the Christmas season, and throughout the year. We are a hardworking family, with a very modest income, and we often times find ourselves with very little come Christmas time.” Last year the family registered for the Angel Tree Program and received gifts for their children they would not have been able to provide. There were presents under the tree from Santa for the children and they experienced a magical Christmas.
Last year, across the country The Salvation Army helped more than 1.9 million people, providing 3.3 million free meals, assisting 233,000 with Christmas food hampers and toys, and over 1.3 million with food, clothing or practical help.
The demand for food and practical assistance is increasing. The Salvation Army in Abbotsford has provided over 1,800 hampers to date, a 50% increase over 2019 by partnering with the Abbotsford School District over the summer months and providing daily hampers for families and individuals from the Emergency Pantry at The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope on Gladys Avenue.
“The Salvation Army has been serving the community of Abbotsford for over 35 years” say Captains Ruth & Ian Gillingham. “This year is unlike any other as we have worked alongside our community partners to care for and meet the needs of so many. At this time of year, which is normally a time of fun, festivity, and family celebration we are facing uncertainty, isolation, and other unnamed challenges. This Christmas season, The Salvation Army will continue to be mobilized to share hope wherever there is hardship due to the generosity of our donors and volunteers.”
The campaign would not be possible without the support of numerous local corporate partners, including BC Liquor Stores, Canadian Tire, Costco, HighStreet Shopping Centre, London Drugs, Save-on-Foods, Sevenoaks Shopping Centre, Superstore and Walmart.
Beyond donating to The Salvation Army’s physical Christmas kettles, FilltheKettle.com, a Salvation Army mobile site, will enable donors to give through their mobile devices or computers. Users of FilltheKettle.com can also host their own online kettle and encourage their friends, family, neighbours and co-workers to donate to The Salvation Army.
Donations to the 2020 Christmas Campaign can also be made in person or via mail to The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope – 34081 Gladys Avenue, Abbotsford, BC V2S 2E8 or by calling 604.852.9305 Ext. 138.