The Mount Arrowsmith Salvation Army in Parksville launched the start of its Christmas Kettle Campaign on Nov. 18. The annual fundraising drive was attended by Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne along with city councillors Marilyn Wilson and Teresa Patterson, and Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce executive director, Kim Burden, who made donations to get the ball rolling. (Michael Briones photo)

The Mount Arrowsmith Salvation Army in Parksville launched the start of its Christmas Kettle Campaign on Nov. 18. The annual fundraising drive was attended by Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne along with city councillors Marilyn Wilson and Teresa Patterson, and Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce executive director, Kim Burden, who made donations to get the ball rolling. (Michael Briones photo)

Parksville Salvation Army rings the bell to begin Christmas Kettle Campaign

Goal for 2021 is to raise $120,000

The Mount Arrowsmith Salvation Army has kicked off its major fundraiser of the year, the Christmas Kettle Campaign.

The launch of the annual fundraiser was held at the Salvation Army Community Church on Thursday (Nov. 18) and was attended by Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne along with councillors Marilyn Wilson and Teresa Patterson, and Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Kim Burden.

The targeted amount for the campaign this year is $120,000. Organizers hope to draw plenty of volunteers to ring the bell in the days ahead.

“It’s that time of year that reminds people of Christmas,” said Maj. Norman Hamelin of the Salvation Army. “I hear so many people when I’m standing on the kettle telling me ‘you know, if you’re not playing the bells, it doesn’t feel like Christmas.’”

The funds raised helps the Salvation Army’s different programs and services in the community. They include the food bank, soup kitchen, the church’s ministries, thrift stores and other programs that they run through community family services.

“And it really is the help, the support that we get from the community that makes that possible,” said Capt. Sharon Tidd, area commander, BC Divisional Headquarters. “The kettle campaign in particular brings in funds that help us to run these ministries for many months and so we are extremely grateful for that.”

Johns praised the work the Salvation Army is doing for the community.

“It’s the sound of the human spirit really and our human connection,” said Johns. “I know how important it is when we have an opportunity to give to the people in our communities. The people that are most marginalized, that maybe just needed a little lift up.”

LISTEN: PQBeat: Talking Christmas with Bonnie Brown of the Mount Arrowsmith Salvation Army

Mayne also expressed his gratitude and respect to the staff of the Salvation Army for their work.

Angeline Street, volunteer and kettle co-ordinator, said the funds raised are important as they support a wide variety of services and programs.

“This money will keep us going for several months through the year,” said Street. “And so it’s really, really important. And we all know that the need is growing every year. The food bank is really anticipating a big growth in usage.”

Street urged the community to join the Salvation Army’s team of kettle volunteers. They will be around town starting Nov. 19. If you wish to join, call 250-905-0320 or go to their website.

Michael.briones@pqbnews.com

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