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Tillsonburg Salvation Army launches kettle campaign

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The Salvation Army launched its annual Kettle Campaign in Tillsonburg on Nov. 18.

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“Our goal this year is $170,000 for our entire kettle (and fundraising letter) campaign,” said Lieut. Drew Young, corps officer and pastor. “And we’re just really excited to be back out in the community… engaging with people, seeing the smiles and hearing the stories. We’re really excited to have that opportunity again.”

The Salvation Army needs more kettle volunteers in Tillsonburg, Young said.

“If you have time to volunteer on a Christmas kettle, I would direct to Mindy (Brown). We are looking forward to seeing you.”

This year the kettles will be located at Zehrs, Sobeys, Metro, outside the Walmart and LCBO, and in the Thrift Store until 12 p.m. on Dec. 24. Shifts are two hours.

“Lots of (volunteer) spaces in different locations,” said Brown. “And we do offer a program for students – we will sign community hours (14-and-older).”

As of last Thursday’s kickoff they had about 25 to 30 volunteers and were looking for about 25 to 30 more.

“Lots of people have been taking more than one shift,” said Brown. “We also have husband and wife volunteers. One person is a lot of Zehrs and we have a full-timer at Sobeys.”

In addition to cash donations, contributions can be made from ‘tap’ (contactless) debit or credit cards (MasterCard, VISA, Google or Apple Pay), whatever form of payment you have on your phone or card in increments of $5, $10 or $20. If you tap more than five times, wait for it to reset.

“Cash is still our main source of kettle income,” said Young. “This is the second year that we’ve launched ‘tap.’ It is new, and it all stays with our (local) campaign.”

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The Salvation Army has historically provided services to those in need through the strength of a very supporting community, said Tillsonburg Mayor Stephen Molnar, who made the first official donation.

“As we migrate through the challenges of the last couple of years, not only are the demands and pressures on our social services and proud agencies and partners like the Salvation Army greater, but those who had the historical opportunity to contribute are also minimal. And that broadens the separation between those in need and the opportunity that we as a community potentially have to give.

“So, if we can, please think of others,” he said, hoping the community would once again rise up to contribute to a worthy cause.

“It’s not just a Christmas-time opportunity, the Salvation Army is 365 days a year and may I say, 24 hours a day. They are integrated into social fabric in the community, and the County of Oxford, taking care of individuals in areas of housing and warmth and food and clothing and mental health… Thank you for what you do on a regular basis.”

The fundraising letter campaign kicked off last week with letters going to the post office Friday.

cabbott@postmedia.com

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