Making donation

Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro, right, uses the tap feature on a Salvation Army Christmas Kettle to make a donation while Gary Ferguson, executive director of The Salvation Army Journey to Life Centre, watches on Thursday morning.

The rising costs of groceries and transportation are fuelling the Salvation Army to raise its goal for this year’s Christmas Kettle campaign by $15,000.

Last year, the organization raised $220,000 through the annual holiday campaign and this year is looking to raise $235,000 to keep services like its soup van, food bank, shelter and breakfast programs running.

“The city has been very generous in the past and they will be very generous again in the future,” said Gary Ferguson, executive director of the Salvation Army and Journey to Life Centre in Thunder Bay. “If we make this goal we will be extremely happy and if we don’t, every dollar that we make helps the services we provide.”

New to the campaign this year is a pay by tap option as fewer people carry cash, said Ferguson.

“A lot of people say they just don’t carry change and that’s true,” he said. “We are becoming a cashless society.”

Each kettle will have a tap option that allows people to use debit or credit cards and smartphones or smartwatches to give donations of either $5, $10 or $20.

Kettles are located at Intercity Shopping Centre, Real Canadian Superstore, Grandview Mall and all three Walmart locations from Nov. 18 to Dec. 24 and the LCBO stores at Arthur Street, Dawson Road, and Thunder Centre from Dec. 1 to 24.

All kettles are staffed by volunteers. Last year more than 880 volunteers worked the kettles.

Public health protocols are in place for volunteers including wearing personal protective equipment. All volunteers are also fully immunized from COVID-19.

The Salvation Army is still looking for volunteers to work the kettles this holiday season. Anyone interested can call 345-6492.

Donations can also be made by calling 345-6492 or by mail to The Salvation Army, 545 Cumberland St. N., Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4S2.