Giving at Christmas helps others the whole year through

by jmifsud
Categories: Uncategorized

    PRAIRIE DIVISION – Winter on the Prairies is hard on everyone. But for the less fortunate, most burdens aren’t lifted with the change of the season. That is why the Salvation Army is there to help, 365 days a year.

    Tis the season for shopping, for busy parking lots and long lines at the cash registers. Shoppers scurry from one store to the next. But for the sound of a bell, or the sight of the Red Shield, they stop for a brief moment, reach into their pockets and purses and drop a few coins into The Salvation Army Christmas kettle.

    According to a recent study by The Frasier Institute, the Prairies lead Canada in charitable giving. Something The Salvation Army is grateful for. In Winnipeg, it operates the Booth Centre – the largest shelter of its kind in the Prairies. Kettle donations not only help fund the operations of the Booth Centre, but also its addictions, corrections and various other programs.

    We sometimes associate poverty with downtown core areas, but theses issues are not exclusive to a city’s inner-city. There are hungry families in every neighbourhood, who often go unseen or unheard of. Located in west Winnipeg, Heritage Park Temple (HPT) is one of 5 Salvation Army corps (or churches) across the city. HPT operates 10 of the city’s 35 kettles. Money raised from these kettles goes towards their community programs, directly impacting the people of St.James-Assiniboia.

    Each Thursday evening, youth from the community meet at HPT for a warm meal and a time of fun and games. Kids Klub runs all year and offers children ages 6–12 a safe place to gather, where they focus on developing positive life skills.

    Many of the same children who attend Kids Klub also attend HPT’s summer day camp. Money collected through Christmas kettles subsidizes camp fees for lower and fixed-income families.

    It also funds HPT’s family services department, which is currently busy filling 35 Christmas hampers for those who cannot afford groceries and presents. Corps officer Major Owen Budden highlights the importance of this vital community outreach, “Its impact cannot be summed up in words – We see it in their eyes, and in their smiles. Many will receive a hamper from The Salvation Army, and return sometime later to give back. It’s a ripple effect.”

    To support The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign, please donate online at, or call 1.800.Sal.Army today.

    Did you know?

    • The Christmas kettle tradition started in 1891 in San Francisco by Salvation Army officer Captain Joseph McFee.  The first Christmas Kettle to be used in Canada was in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1906.
    • There are many kettles across the Prairies where you can donate to The Salvation Army. uses mapping technology to help you find the kettle closest to you.
    • 86¢ of every dollar you donate to The Salvation Army goes directly towards helping people in need.