The Estevan Salvation Army is getting ready for what is typically their busiest time of the year.
The Salvation Army will have two campaigns leading up to Christmas. The first is their kettle campaign, which will begin on November 24 with the annual kick-off at the Estevan Shoppers Mall. The launch begins at 11 a.m. The Estevan Comprehensive School will perform, and dignitaries and supporters will be on hand to offer their support.
“It will be a time of celebration, anticipation and hope,” said Bobolo.
The goal for the kettles is $30,000, which is up from the $26,000 goal that they received last year.
Kettles will be located at the mall, the Estevan Wal-Mart and the Southern Plains Co-op's Estevan grocery store. Volunteers are still needed to work at the kettles. Two-hour shifts will be from Monday to Saturday at the three locations, beginning November 26 and ending December 24.
There will also be a kettle at the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority liquor store during the last two Saturdays before Christmas, and there will be a kettle at the Salvation Army's Thrift Store.
“There are lots of shifts available in the day and the evening,” said Bobolo. “We're looking for about 140 to 150 more people."
The other campaign is the mail-out appeal. The letters were sent to Estevan residents in mid-November. The goal is $50,000, which is also up from the $44,600 that they brought in a year ago.
Money that is raised will stay in the community, and it will be directed towards the Family Services program, which supports the Salvation Army's emergency services efforts throughout the year; their initiative that helps sends families to summer camps; the purchase of fresh meat, produce and dairy for the food bank; and other programs that they offer.
“I think when people in Estevan support the Salvation Army, they're really supporting themselves,” said Bobolo. “They're supporting the community. It's really about partnership. The Salvation Army partners with the community in order to better the community.
“Our mission is to serve the needs of the people, to be a transforming influence to the cities in which we serve, to treat people with dignity and with respect, and that requires partnership. We really do not function without our community partners.”
The Salvation Army will also be busy in the coming weeks through their involvement with Warm Welcome, which is the shelter that will be at St. Paul's United Church. The Salvation Army will be the intake centre, and they'll be supplying breakfast for people who are at the shelter.
And this is a busy time of year for the food bank, Bobolo said. Some recent food drives have left the shelves well-stocked entering the Christmas season. The support for the food bank will be needed, Bobolo said, as the Salvation Army will be filling hampers through the Community Hamper Association, and meeting any other needs in the community.
Events typically take place throughout the community before Christmas that collect donations for the food bank, such as the visit from the CP Rail Holiday Train.