The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign is a fundraising effort that occurs each year during the Christmas season. Kettles are found in 2000 locations across Canada and are an opportunity for the public to donate whatever funds they can to support the work of The Salvation Army during the Christmas season and throughout the year.
For too many Canadians, the necessities of life needed for basic human dignity are out of reach. Poverty is the root cause that puts dignity out of reach for millions of Canadians, making access to everyday needs, like food, clothing and shelter, difficult.
From the end of November to Christmas Eve, you will spot the iconic red kettle in more than 20 locations across Richmond Hill, Oak Ridges, Vaughan and Maple. The Christmas Kettle Campaign is the largest fundraising drive of the year for the Richmond Hill Salvation Army with the 2017 fundraising target of $150,000. The money raised helps to provide the basic necessities of life to individuals and families living in poverty in the community, shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation to those battling addiction.
In 2016 for example, here is how donations were used in the Richmond Hill/Vaughan area:
- Helped more than 3600 adults and children with food, clothing, counseling, advocacy and wrap-around supports.
- Hosted a variety of weekly programs and activities for children, teens and mothers.
- Sent 32 children to summer camp.
- Provided wrap-around supports for at-risk individuals and families.
- Collected and distributed food, clothing and other basic stables to and from our facility.
- Collected and distributed toys and food for our annual Christmas Assistance program.
- Through our annual backpack program, provided over 200 children with backpacks and school supplies.
The Salvation Army depends on support from business partners and retailers who allow Christmas Kettles to be placed at their stores each year and also relies on the hundreds of kettle workers who volunteer their time across Richmond Hill and Vaughan.
In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee wanted to help the help the vulnerable in San Francisco, especially during the Christmas season, but he didn’t know where to get funding to do so. He remembered, during his earlier days in Liverpool, England, seeing a large kettle where passengers of boats that docked nearby were able to toss coins to help the poor. Captain McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing, and encouraged the public to “Keep the Pot Boiling.” He collected enough to host a Christmas dinner for the poor.
The first time a kettle was used in Canada was in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1906.