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Christmas Kettle Kick-Off kickstarts the season

In this Helpers feature we visit the Salvation Army Citadel and join the celebration during the annual Christmas Kettle Kick-Off

A sure sign that Christmas is upon us is the sound of yuletide carols and hymns being performed by the Salvation Army Band as well as the ringing of the bells and the appearance of Salvation Army collection kettles.

“It is our big fundraiser for the year and we will soon have the Christmas kettles out at various locations around the city as we move into our fundraiser to raise money to support the work of the Salvation Army throughout the year,” said corps officer and pastor Major Peter van Duinen.

The kettle tradition has officially entered the digital age.

“New this year we have debit machines so, we will have four debit terminals throughout Guelph,” said Kettle Coordinator Lori Folkerson. “So, it is really easy for young people like myself who don’t carry cash anymore. You can easily just tap and pay.”

People rang in the Christmas season during a special event Wednesday night at the Salvation Army Citadel on Gordon Street that included carols performed by the Salvation Army Band and opportunities for children and families to dress up in Christmas costumes and pose for a photo.

“This was our Kettle Kick-off,” said Folkerson. “We start kettles on Friday Nov 15, that’s our first day and this is just a night to celebrate and sign up for kettles, and have some cookies and hot chocolate.”

Volunteers are encouraged to contact Folkerson at [email protected] or they can visit the Guelph Salvation Army website and click there to register.

“There will be 14 locations around the city at shopping malls, grocery stores, Walmart and things like that,” said van Duinen. “People will be able to contact us and volunteer to be a bell ringer at our Christmas kettles and do some shifts for us to help us out to raise our goal this year, which is $165,000.”