THUNDER BAY – The Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser of the year kicked off on Nov. 18 with an unveiling of some new technology that makes donating to the campaign much easier.
The Kettle Campaign aims to help the lives of families and their children in Thunder Bay as poverty affects the ability for everyone in the community to survive and thrive, especially during the pandemic and the impact of inflation.
Demand for Salvation Army services such as their food bank and soup van nightly meal program remain high due to low wages, homelessness, mental health and addictions and increased cost for food and utilities.
The Kettle Campaign’s goal for this year is $235,000 to fund community programs in Thunder Bay providing practical assistance to people over Christmas and through the coming year.
“The funds that we raise we’re going to be putting toward the supper van, toward the food bank, toward shelter, toward breakfast programs,” said Gary Ferguson, executive director.
“All the funds raised will stay within the community, and, there has been some inflation in relation to costs of items as we all know, groceries have gone up a bit, transportation has gone up, fuel costs have gone up, so we have to compensate for that as well.”
This year the Salvation Army’s Kettles have gotten an upgrade in technology, through a partnership with the company tiptap, all kettle locations will have contact less payment as an option as opposed to the traditional cash donations.
People who wish to donate will be able to pay $5, $10, and $20, with debit, credit or through their smartphones and wireless accessories that feature tap payments
To help with the launch of the campaign, a number of community leaders were out staffing kettles including Peng You, Brian McKinnon, Ken Boshcoff, Norm Gale, Kathleen Lynch, Neebing Mayor Erwin Butikofer, Thunder Bay North Stars, Tom Warm and the LU Thunderwolves.
“As a varsity athlete, a lot of people have sacrificed a lot to get us to where we are today, so, it’s obviously a big part of our team and our school to give back to the community, especially the city of Thunder Bay, they do a lot for us,” said LU Thunderwolves player Cole Edwards.
“It’s the least we can do to be out here today helping give back.”
Kettles are located at Intercity Shopping Centre, Real Canadian Superstore, Grandview Mall, Walmart - Memorial Avenue, Walmart – County Fair Mall, Walmart – Arthur Street Marketplace from Nov. 18 – 24 and the LCBOs at Arthur Street, Dawson Road., and Thunder Centre from Dec. 1- 24.
More information about Salvation Army services in Thunder Bay visit their website.