Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign launches for 2023

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald (L to R) Major Ed Dean and Mont St. Joseph Home CEO Wayne Nogier kicked off the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign at Mont St. Joseph Home on Friday morning.

The Salvation Army in Prince Albert has a busy Christmas season ahead of them thanks to their Christmas Kettle Campaign, which officially began on Friday at the Mont. St. Joseph Home.

The campaign helps provide food hampers, gifts, and other things to make Christmas brighter for those who are less fortunate. Major Ed Dean of the Prince Albert Salvation Army said they hope to raise $100,000 this Christmas to help meet needs that have only grown in the past year.

“Our goal this year is $100,000 and the proceeds from these kettles are what’s helped to sustain our feeding programs downtown,” Dean said.

The Salvation Army recently closed their Thrift Store so they’d have more space to expand their meal programs. Dean said they are “bursting at the seams,” having served more than 50,000 meals so far in 2023. Their goal is to revitalize their building with a kitchen and dining area, but the funds from this campaign will be going towards simpler things like groceries.

“We’ve got a wonderful team of volunteers (and) I believe this Community can help us reach that goal,” Dean said. “I know it’s a large goal, but through the generosity of our community we will be able to reach that goal.”

Dean said that if each Prince Albert resident finds a way to donate $2.50 they should reach that $100,000 mark.

“Do those that are wanting something to do this Christmas, it’s a wonderful way to meet the community and to give back in a very valuable way to some of the most vulnerable people” Dean said. “These are our neighbours. Step up and help a neighbour. Thank you.”

Dean said Dec. 16 is their most important fundraising day. That’s when they’ll bring a few donkeys to the Prince Albert Walmart for Fill a Kettle Day when Walmart matches up to $100,000 in kettle donations across Canada.

“We are really hoping to see a really full day that day—a full day with two kettles on location,” Dean said.

Salvation Army Kettles will be in various locations around the city from Tuesday to Saturday up until Dec. 23. Dean said the Salvation Army has run kettle campaigns since the early 1900s, and have not veered from tradition.

He credited their volunteers in Prince Albert for helping to make it successful.

“If it wasn’t for the volunteers ringing bells, we would not be able to do it on our own,” Dean said.

Mont St. Joseph Home was chosen as the launch site because they have a Kettle on site to continue to add normalcy to the lives of residents.

“It’s a part of life that a lot of them knew before coming to Mont St Joe’s,” Dean said. “It’s a wonderful partnership to have.”

Wayne Nogier the CEO of Mont. St. Joseph Home said the idea came about because both Dean and Nogier are members of the Rotary Club of Prince Albert. Last year Dean asked members to come and volunteer on the kettles and this started the process.

“Our philosophy of delivering care here is to focus on normalizing life for our residents and having something like this,” he explained. “This is something that they’ve done for years when they lived in their own homes. We trialled it in the building last year and it was a great success and we just think this is normal.”

Nogier said that he was happy to host the campaign kicked off for 2023 in Mont St. Joseph.

“We’re excited to be part of this,” he said. “We think this is a wonderful opportunity for the community of Prince Albert and for us.”

Dean explained that some residents of the Home will be going into the community to ring bells at other locations. They have two dates booked where so far.

“We take our residents with us and we go out there and we just we play a role in the community and I love it,” Nogier said.

They have also set up their Santa’s Anonymous Warehouse and are already receiving donations.

“This Saturday at the Santa Claus Parade, we’re inviting people to bring a new, unwrapped toy that they can drop it off. They can get hot chocolate there and they can see what the toy warehouse is looking like,” he added.

“That’s been running now for a couple of weeks with families that are signing up to say, ‘you know what, we might need a toy this Christmas,’” Dean said.

Dean said that there is always plenty happening with the Salvation Army at Christmas

“We have nearly 600 kettle shifts to cover between now and Dec. 23,” he said.

To book a volunteer time it can be booked though the office at 306-763-6017 or through the Signup website at Dean said that the website has gained momentum since launching in 2022.

“More people are understanding what it is and going in and signing up there. It was brand new last year for us, and so for them to be able to go in … and to do that helps us out,” Dean said.

Donations can also be mailed to 900 Central Avenue, Prince Albert, S6V 4V3.