Test your kettle

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December 6, 2016 12:00 AM

EVEN A LOONIE HELPS Shannon Weinberger, head of the Lloydminster Salvation Army Food Bank, stands beside one of the red Christmas kettles, which popped up around town Thursday at Wal-Mart, Safeway, Superstore and Co-op stores. All the money raised from the kettles will go to supplementing it's charitable work in the community. JAIME POLMATEER LLS PHOTO

The season of giving is upon us and what better way to give back than helping an organization that takes care of the community?
If you’re looking to share some generosity, but can’t quite figure out where to start, just drop a few bucks into one of the Salvation Army Food Bank’s Christmas Kettles, which popped up Thursday at Wal-Mart, Superstore, Safeway and Co-op stores.
Just look for the volunteers who’ll be ringing the bells until Dec. 24.
“The Kettle Campaign is one of our bigger campaigns, the monies that are brought in are what source our family services and food bank ministry, both for the food and other services that we provide,” said Major Lisa O’Doherty, corps officer for The Salvation Army in Lloydminster.
“I think it’s the one time of year that we’re the most visible in a sense of campaigning for funds, so the monies that are brought in carry us through a number of months into the following year.”
The Christmas kettles are an age old tradition for the Salvation Army and O’Doherty said, as far as she knows, the organization has been keeping up with the campaign since it formed.
Here in the Border City the Sally Ann has been around since 1920, and though O’Doherty can’t verify this fact, she figures the kettles have been in stores every year since, which if true, makes the campaign nearly a century old. 
Some of the services the funds go to are the Salvation Army’s Christmas hampers, Red Cap program and other specialized needs community members may have, like medical expenses and various other things. 
Last year the Christmas Kettles raised $40,000 for the Salvation Army and its programs and services, and this year with the added strain on resources due to the low economy, organizers are aiming for $50,000.
O’Doherty said the Salvation Army is blessed to have such great corporate partners that allow it to place kettles in their stores, adding the biggest challenge is finding enough volunteers to ring the bells so it can cover all the available shifts.
“Demand for our services is definitely up this year—with the downturn in the economy, we are seeing more and more families needing to access our food bank,” she said.
Any one looking to volunteer their time can call 780-870-1346 to schedule a shift.

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