The Prince George Salvation Army launched its Christmas campaign with the annual Kettle Kickoff Breakfast at the Coast Inn of the North Saturday morning.
Captain Neil Wilkinson with the Salvation Army says it’s the biggest fundraiser that the local non-profit undertakes each year and the Christmas campaign is the primary source of funding for a lot of the work done in the community. “We bring in about 250 thousand dollars which sounds like a substantial amount of money, however if you figure that we’re strethcing that out to serve people over 12 months, it’s a little bit of money to go a long way in helping people,” he said.
Wilkinson added that the need for donations is a year-round commitment. “Currently we’re serving 1,500 families each month which is just shy of 3,800 people, we see those numbers day in and day out,” he said. “We believe a community is only as strong as its weakest members, so we’re serving about the two per cent most vulnerable people in the society and it’s through the work of the Salvation Army that we’re able to do that.”
Along with the by donation breakfast, the Salvation Army has officially started to set up kettles through Prince George. Business Manager, Bill Glasgow says 10 kettles are now serving the city which can make a huge impact. “Even though there are not a lot of pennies in circulation, every penny does count,” he said. “People think that they only have a quarter in their pocket and it won’t help, it does help and we can do so much and make that penny stretch to feed a family sometimes.”
Glasgow says two more kettle locations will be added come December 1st.
In addition to the fundraising efforts, those who receive the donations know how important it is to give back. Attilio Gioe has utilized the services of the Salvation Army in the past and says it makes a huge impact. “Being a senior citizen it does help quite a bit because you know, you’re on a pension and you’re just trying to meet the needs of life,” he said. “It’s good to give back to the community and it makes you feel much better when you see the donations that come in, it fulfills you and when the guests come to the Salvation Army they have such a big smile on their face.”
If you would like to volunteer with the Salvation Army, call 250-596-HOPE