The Powerful Team Behind a Successful Kettle Campaign

by juneli
Categories: Divisional News

Pictured above are Major John P. Murray, Territorial Public Relations and Development Secretary and Jeff Robertson, Area Director – Public Relations, presenting a ‘Thank You Certificate’ to Joanne Blackmore and Major Flo Sharples. 

By: June Li

The Christmas season has come and gone and The Salvation Army is extremely grateful to our supporters that helped raise $23.1 million for our national Christmas Kettle Campaign. Across the Ontario Central East Division, there were hundreds of kettle locations but one city stood out. Raising over half a million dollars, The Salvation Army’s Barrie Bayside Mission surpassed their goal of $505,000 raising a total of $552,856. The Ministry Unit was able to exceed their goal thanks to the hard work and dedication of their Kettle Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator.

Having worked for The Salvation Army for 26 years, Joanne Blackmore has been the Kettle Coordinator at the Barrie Bayside Mission for the past 5 years. From administrative duties to ensuring everything is in place when the kettles go out, Joanne has been an integral member of the team. “This has been a big year for us and we couldn’t have done it without our volunteers. In just this year alone, we had close to 2800 2-hour kettle shifts,” says Blackmore. “We have a database of around 450 volunteers and every year Major Sharples tries to keep in touch with all of them.”

At 79-years-young, Major Flo Sharples has been at the Barrie Bayside Mission for nearly a decade connecting and building relationships with volunteers. “I love getting to know our volunteers and they enjoy the personal contact,” says Major Sharples, “Every year our volunteers expect to hear from me and at the end of the season, I contact them either by phone or email to invite them to our Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon to thank them. This year we had over 200 attendees.”

After years of dedication, both Joanne and Major Sharples are retiring. To show our appreciation, Major John P. Murray and Jeff Robertson presented them with a ‘Thank You Certificate’ at the Luncheon. When asked what their secret was to a successful Kettle Campaign, Major Sharples credits the caring City of Barrie, “Joanne and I love what we do, but it is all thanks to the City of Barrie, Alcona and other surrounding communities. They are very generous with their time and money and want to help those struggling in the community.”