The Bradford Lions Club issued a challenge to the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury staff this year: sign up and fill a shift for the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign.
The Salvation Army describes itself as an international Christian organization. Its Christmas Kettle Campaign is a major fundraiser that supports services and provides a happier holiday season for Canadians who are struggling with issues of homelessness, food insecurity, addiction and mental health.
So, why is the Lions Club – a non-religious, non-political organization – supporting the Kettle Campaign?
Because the Sally Ann is also Canada’s largest non-governmental provider of social services, regardless of religious affiliation, creed or race – “and the money raised here stays here,” explained Jamie Jones, first vice district governor of District A12.
The challenge has been a tremendous success so far, he noted, with most shifts at both Walmart and the LCBO in Bradford filled until Dec. 8, “but we still need people to help out,” Jones said.
He took the first shift at the LCBO on Dec. 1, ringing jingle bells to encourage residents to drop their change in the kettle, and make the season brighter for those in need.
Meanwhile, over at Walmart, one of Santa’s helpers took time out from a busy schedule to take a shift – and hand out candy canes to the kids. “It’s just something I do,” said Bill Casey, dressed as Saint Nick.
There is still time to sign up for the challenge and fill a shift. Contact Lions Club member Kathy Howitt at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Kettle Campaign ends Christmas Eve.