Nearly a dozen handbells were enough to take attention away from a chilly, rainy November rain when the Salvation Army launched its Kettle Campaign from the BC Legislature on Thursday (Nov. 18).
The charity’s 131st holiday fundraising campaign was rung in from the rear steps by parliamentary secretary for community development and non-profits, Niki Sharma, and Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Nicholas Simons. Special attention was paid to this year’s weather disasters and the drastic uptick of service access throughout the province this year.
“Right now we’re facing a new emergency in this province, and I know it’s by continuing to work together that we’ll get through this,” Sharma said. “I know that that’s what this campaign is all about – working together to support people who need it.”
The demand for the Salvation Army’s services has been “unprecedented,” said spokesperson Patricia Mamic. Some areas throughout B.C. saw access to the charity increase by 200 to 300 per cent throughout 2021.
“Particularly with COVID, there are a lot of people coming to us for services and help that have never done so before,” Mamic said. A new fundraiser has also set a goal of $1 million to provide shelter, blankets, jackets and “spiritual care” for those affected by floods throughout the province.
Salvation Army kettles will be present throughout Greater Victoria and, for the first time ever, enabled with tap transaction technology until Dec. 24. “If someone can’t afford (to donate) or wants to volunteer with a team, we greatly appreciate volunteers (to staff donation kettles), as well,” Mamic said.
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