Rotarian Mark Ziegler volunteers for the Salvation Army Kettle campaign.

Kettle stories are about giving

Rotarians volunteer to man the kettle for the Salavation Army

The night was dark and chilly, with a frosty breeze in the air.  An older man slowly approached, close to the building to stay out of the wind. His clothes were a little worn, but looked warm enough.He stood by the kettle for a moment, and I wondered if he was going to ask for spare change.Instead, he took a $50 dollar bill from his pocket and stuffed it into the kettle. He told me, “the Salvation Army helped me when I really needed it and now it’s my turn to give. Stay warm and have a Merry Christmas.” As he walked away I wished him a very Merry Christmas… and all of a sudden, my kettle duty didn’t feel quite so chilly any more.

Ask any Rotarian about their time standing by the Salvation Army Christmas kettle, and you will hear a similar story.  When you are out and about shopping locally this holiday season, listen for that familiar sound of jingling sleigh bells. As sole guardians of the bright red kettle, Sooke Rotarians are once again greeting the community and accepting donations to the Salvation Army’s continued good works for those in need.

This year marks Sooke Rotary’s 20th kettle drive. Every year members share stories from the kettle, ranging from kindness shown through an unexpected hot chocolate delivery to a heartfelt thank you from someone who has been on the receiving end of the some of the Salvation Army’s many services.

Through the generosity of Sooke residents, approximately $4,300 is raised annually in support of Salvation Army projects throughout the greater Victoria area, including Sooke.

President Deb Johnston says, “This is a great opportunity for Rotarians to meet friends and neighbours in the Sooke area and share in the spirit of Christmas giving. We are pleased to help out the Salvation Army as they help out our community.”

Look for the kettle outside the government liquor store from Dec. 16 to the 24.

Sooke Rotarian Brian MacNeill shares his kettle story:

“I’m sure many of us who worked the Salvation Army Kettle have similar stories but one that I experienced, was an older lady with her daughter,  I would guess the daughter was mid 50s to early 60s and as they passed me to enter the liquor store, I wished them “Good morning and Merry Christmas.”  After a few minutes they came out of the liquor store with their booty and as they passed I wished them a “Have a good day” and carried on doing my bell ringing.

Several minutes later, I turned to see them coming down the walk towards me. Did they forget to purchase something? Was there a problem?  No, as they came closer to me I noticed that neither were dressed in inexpensive clothing and as I was wondering why they were back, the older lady, reached into her jacket pocket and handed me two $50 dollar bills. I was blown away but said that I wanted her to put this money directly into the kettle.

I wished them again Merry Christmas and thanked them both for their generosity. For me, this made my Christmas and I get so much inner satisfaction from experiencing their generosity, even to this day, the memory lives on and propels me to volunteer my time.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

Third time lucky for Freedom Mobile cell tower in Sooke

Council approves tower after cell provider applies multiple times

Petition calls for suspension of Victoria councillor Ben Isitt

Isitt says petition ‘does not provide a reliable barometer of public opinion’

Grave site at Ross Bay Cemetery vandalized overnight

Graffiti found on grave of Sir James Douglas

T’Sou-ke First Nation mired in legal woes over gas station development

Claims and counterclaims leave sub-contractors unpaid

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

Canadian Premier League announces 2020 home dates for eight-team circuit

Pacific FC hosts FC Edmonton on April 11 in Langford

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read