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Salvation Army seeks support for Christmas Kettle Campaign

By Celina Ip

The Salvation Army in Pembroke is calling on the generosity of the community to help make Christmas possible for everyone in the Upper Ottawa Valley.

 

With over 70 per cent of the organization’s funds raised over the holiday season, Christmas is an important time for The Salvation Army during which they greatly rely on the community’s support.

Each year, the Salvation Army staff and volunteers work diligently to raise those funds in order to maintain the annual Christmas Hamper Program, Community Lunch, Food Bank and Youth Centre.

On Nov. 25, the Salvation Army will be launching their 2017 Christmas Kettle Campaign with a kick-off celebration beginning at noon at the Salvation Army in Pembroke (484 Pembroke St W.). The celebration will feature the Pembroke Legion Band playing some beloved Christmas carols as well as speeches from local municipal leaders who have been asked to attend the celebration and to offer their support throughout the campaign.

“We have confirmation that Mayor LeMay will be attending on the 25th as well as Councillor George Hodgkinson from Laurentian Valley on behalf of Mayor Bennett. We are currently booking kettle shifts for all municipalities and those representing government such as Cheryl Gallant and John Yakabuski,” said Laura Demont, Christmas Kettle Coordinator.

To ensure the complete success and execution of their holiday efforts, the organization is seeking a number of volunteers to assist for an hour or more at one of the seven kettle locations throughout Pembroke, Laurentian Valley and Petawawa. The campaign will run from Nov. 25 until Christmas Eve.

“We are still in need of volunteers. Just an hour of your time can help support those in your community,” said Demont.

As well, the Salvation army is also looking to recruit individuals to help deliver Christmas Hampers in Pembroke and Petawawa on the morning of December 20th.

According to Demont, they are anticipating that approximately 250 families will be accessing our Christmas Hamper program this year. To stock up the shelves in time for the holidays and support the Hamper program, donations to the Salvation Army are also greatly appreciated at this time of the time.

“There has been a significant increase in hampers this year. Not only with hampers, but we have had a significant amount of families come to us in need in the last month. Last year we supplied 200 hampers to local families and this year we have registered just over 250 families. We have had a significant amount of families come through in the last month for food bank and the Community Lunch - mostly new families from the middle class who have been struggling. Because of this increase in need, our shelves are almost bare,” said Demont. “Support has started to slowly trickle in and I suspect will begin to increase once the awareness increases.”

To volunteer with the Christmas Kettle program, contact Laura Demont at sa.pembroke.volunteer@gmail.com Or to volunteer with the Christmas Hampers, contact Lieut. Kath Walker at 613-735-5601 ext.2

cip@postmedia.com