The Lloydminster Salvation Army will be scaling back their Christmas Kettle campaign this year, but they will still be going ahead.
Major Bond Jennings says the campaign will start on November 21st and kettles will be located at Sobeys, Safeway, Real Canadian Superstore, Lloyd Mall, Lloydminster Co-op Marketplace and Walmart.
“It’s going to look different. We will have debit machines on site. We will also have what’s called a ‘tiptap’ machine for people to use if they don’t have any loose change this year.”
The tiptap machine is a square electronic device that allows for touchless donations by tapping it with a debit card. Jennings says they will be contacting volunteers from last year to help out and will be taking several COVID-19 precautions such as limiting hours and providing PPE.
“We are cutting back on the number of hours, we’re only doing it 6 hours a day, due to COVID. We’re limiting our contact with the public and we realize that we probably aren’t going to reach our goal, but under the circumstances, we need to take precautions to protect our volunteers.”
Jennings is hoping to collect $65,000 through the Christmas Kettles which ends on Christmas Eve. Residents can also donate online through the Fill The Kettle website. Ahead of the local campaign start, the national organization will be hosting an online kick off event called Hope in the City 2020 on November 19th.
The Salvation Army is also taking in application for their Christmas Hamper program and toy drive. Jennings says they’re doubling the amount of hampers this year to 900 in preparation of a demand increase.
“Hopefully, we don’t get those numbers, but we are preparing if we do. November 17th is the application deadline.”
Applications are done through a phone interview and residents can call the Salvation Army at 780-875-9166 to register. Jennings adds they will still take in applications past the deadline, but encourages residents who need them to register early.