Hark the Herald Angels Sing rang from the trumpet of Bert McCutcheon throughout the aisles of Metro on Thursday morning, signalling the start of the Napanee Salvation Army’s 2023 Kettle Campaign.
The holiday fundraising initiative at Metro is paying tribute to past Kettle Campaign coordinator Tina Steele, who lost her battle with ALS just a few days after last Christmas. Her parents Clare and Marg were on hand to help officially launch this year’s effort.
“Our location here is in memory of Tina Steele, who was our campaign coordinator for a number of years, a staff member at Metro and just a friend,” said Abby Mills, director of community ministries for the Napanee Salvation Army. “Her picture is here to remind us all of her dedication to the campaign.”
Along with the traditional method of dropping bills and coins into a kettle, donors have the option of tapping their debit or credit card onto a pad affixed to the kettle. They can choose a $5, $10 or $20 instant transfer.
“This year we are doing our tip tap pay. So folks that don’t have cash, they can make a donation just this easy with debit or credit, just like that,” said Mills, demonstrating the tap method.
Kettles are now set up at Metro, No Frills and Wal-Mart, with another to be established at the LCBO on Dec. 1.
“Our campaign goal for this year, between our Kettle Campaign and our Letter Appeal, is $110,000,” said Mills. “I know that the community supports us so well every year and will get behind us and we’ll make our goal.”
The campaign runs through Dec. 23.
Anyone interested in volunteering to stand next to the kettles this holiday season can contact this year’s coordinator, Mandy MacDonald, by calling or texting 613-888-4426. The Napanee Napanee Cab Company is offering free transportation for kettle volunteers.
Money raised during the campaign assists the Salvation Army for their many programs throughout the year such as providing toys for kids during the holidays, their ongoing food bank, school supplies and winter boots for those in need.
Dating back to 1891, the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle can be found in communities across the world. The campaign got its start when Salvation Army officer Cpt. Joseph McFee set up a crab pot on a tripod asking for donations from people as they got off the Oakland, California ferry.
Here in Canada, the first kettle was set up in St. John’s, NFLD back in 1906.