Salvation Army in Yellowknife Gears up to Provide Christmas Support for Neighbours in Need

Volunteers sort boxes of Christmas help
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Just a couple of months ago, residents of Yellowknife, N.W.T., were forced to leave everything behind and evacuate to escape the devastating wildfires that affected the region. Today, as most residents settle back into their daily lives, The Salvation Army is gearing up to make sure everyone in the community has everything they need this Christmas season.

From Nov. 23 to Dec. 23, The Salvation Army in Yellowknife’s Christmas Kettle Campaign will be underway. Executive Director, Major Tony Brushett, says the goal for this year is to raise $45,000, which he predicts will help them cover the cost of their Christmas programs.

“We supply about 700 to 750 Christmas hampers to folks in Yellowknife and the surrounding communities.”

“We supply about 700 to 750 Christmas hampers to folks in Yellowknife and the surrounding communities. We supply toys to the children here in the Army and we also supply what we call goodie bags to our shelter clients and the local prisons,” Major Brushett explained. “If we could reach the $45,000 target, we will probably be able to cover the cost of Christmas programs.”

This year, the donations toward Yellowknife’s Kettle Campaign will be crucial to ensure they can help everyone in need. Due to the evacuations, more residents of the city will find themselves needing extra support during this year’s holiday season.

“Our food bank usage has gone up almost 50 per cent since the evacuation.”

“Our food bank usage has gone up almost 50 per cent since the evacuation. A lot of our people who evacuated down south, they lost three, four or five weeks of salary,” Major Brushett added.

While donations are important, The Salvation Army is also looking for eager volunteers to cover hundreds of kettle shift hours available. Major Brushett, speaking from personal experience, says that it is an opportunity for lots of positive interactions to take place within the community.

“You can come stand on a kettle for as little as an hour. It is a great opportunity to interact with people. Typically, they donate and start a conversation from there. It is heartwarming when you get to talk to an individual and hear their story.”

Throughout the years, Major Brushett has witnessed the positive effects of The Salvation Army’s Christmas programs. During his time at different locations, he has seen families receive and give back when they find themselves in better situations.

“I’ve met some volunteers who, for many years, have seen the benefits of the Christmas hampers and toys for their children. It helped them manage to turn around their financial lives and now they are volunteering, donating their time and their finances to the very same program,” Major Brushett said.

As kettle season approaches, Major Brushett would like to share a call to action for the community to help ensure everyone in Yellowknife can enjoy the holidays.

We have been through a lot this year. The community is coming together, so let’s continue to do so for those who are less fortunate, so we can all ensure that they have a good Christmas.”


By Juan Romero