Red Kettle Campaign kicks off November 17

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"There are many in our community who are not aware of the scope of what we do at the Community Life Centre, and so we would like to take this opportunity to share about our operations".

Last's year's kettle kickoff generated about $40,000, and the Red Kettle program brought in just over $96,000 last holiday season.

Captain Derrick Mitchell addresses the room
Captain Derrick Mitchell addresses the room

Every year volunteer bell ringers stand outside popular shopping destinations and collect donations.

Rowland is in charge of organizing the effort in 17 MI counties, including Huron.

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New to the Christmas Kettle campaign this year is a pilot project, which Sadowy is hoping to see rolled out in December, and will allow the option of digital payments at some locations. Shifts can be as short as an hour or two and go up to eight hours or more.

As always, finding enough volunteers to fill the entire five-week effort is challenging. The goal was raised slightly from last year's overall collection of just under $16,000. "It helps with our emergency food services... a year ago we provided more than 20 thousand bags of groceries to individuals and families", said Maria Sadowy from the Kingston branch. So many of us have a lot. o many of us don't have very much.

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"When I'm at the kettle and people say "I'm so sorry I've only got a little bit of change", I always say 'If everybody felt that way and only gave a little bit of change, it would be fantastic at how much money we could raise, ' " Roche said.

Rowland said that amount was spread across 47 households for rent/mortgage payments to avoid eviction and homelessness, utility bills, food vouchers and other various household needs.

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