In a town where community is everything, this volunteer dedicates her time to give back to those less fortunate

by mariasilva
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Every year, The Salvation Army launches its annual Christmas Kettle campaign that helps raise money to fund programs all year round. This campaign is made possible by the volunteers who dedicate their time at over 2,000 locations, including grocery stores and shopping malls across Canada.

Gerri Whiteford is a registered nurse and has been volunteering for The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettles for a few years. She started her affiliation with the organization by volunteering at the Foot clinic almost a decade ago. She also dedicates many hours to the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners put on in her community.

“The Salvation Army plays a vital role in our community,” Whiteford said. “They step in where other agencies don’t want to go.”

The need to help the homeless in Yellowknife is vital; drug use and alcohol abuse are challenges many homeless people face every day.

“The Salvation Army serves everyone,” Whiteford said. “If there’s a need, The Salvation Army will fill it, without question and with good intentions.”

Every Christmas season, Whiteford enjoys ringing the kettle bell, as it brings her closer to the people in her community. The donations collected through the campaign stay local and helps those left vulnerable.

“If not for The Salvation Army, who would do it? They do really good things within the community and throughout the world,” Whiteford said.

In late 2020, Yellowknife had seen a low number of COVID-19 cases compared to the rest of Canada, but recommendations of social distancing and face coverings was implemented in a few public spaces.

“I’m very familiar with the protocols and I know we’re very safe here,” Whiteford said.

Whiteford’s passion for volunteering during the Christmas season has led to her husband also putting in some hours. Their support for The Salvation Army goes beyond their community as trips worldwide have them visiting Salvation Army ministry units in places like Iceland.

She believes the organization has a good reputation, and she contributes personally throughout the year. The

Salvation Army is honored to have such a great group of volunteers who dedicate their spare time and help give hope today. If you would like to volunteer, visit SalvationArmy.ca/Alberta to learn how you can dedicate a few hours of your time in your community.