The Salvation Army held its downtown Kettle Launch Wednesday morning ahead of the official 126th Annual Kettle Campaign Kickoff later this week.
Anyone driving past the corner of Wellington and King Street no doubt saw an inflatable two-storey tall Sally Ann red bell that heralded the start of the collection campaign.
Volunteers were stationed at Wellington and Dundas Streets, Wellington and York Streets and Wellington and Horton Streets to drum up support and awareness for the annual drive.
The official Friday’s official kettle campaign kickoff will see Salvation Army officials join in the ceremonial puck drop at the London Knights game at Budweiser Gardens. London’s Divisional Commander Everett Barrow and former London mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, who is this year’s Kettle Champion, are scheduled to attend the event.
Salvation Army Spokesperson Shannon Wise tells AM980 they want to make sure every member of the community has what they need to celebrate Christmas.
“Locally we know that Christmas hampers were given out to 5,600 households right here in London last year so we know how important and vital these services are,” Wise says. “Londoners always pull through, last year our goal was $500,000, we knocked that one out of the park and this year our goal is the same.”
Wise says all of the funds raised through the campaign will be used in the London-area so residents who contribute can rest assured that those in need in our community will benefit.
“No child should go a Christmas without a warm meal and something to play with, a toy, a science kit, a book (…) that’s what we’re here to do and we know Londoners will pull through again this year,” Wise says.
For more information on the campaign and to find out how you can volunteer, visit FilltheKettle.com.