As the need grows during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Salvation Army hopes you will fill the red Christmas Kettles

OTTAWA — The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettles campaign is in its final push before Christmas and with a surge on demand, there is a greater need for donations this holiday season.

At the Salvation Army’s Bethany Hope Centre in Ottawa, it would be normally filled with parents and children running around for their annual Christmas party and dinner. 

Centre executive director Sandra Randall says while that is no longer possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, they still wanted to be able to provide a meal and understand how important it is to the clients. 

Now staff and volunteers are packaging nearly 60 holiday hamper feasts to prepare at home, along with a week’s worth of provisions like diapers, formula and wipes and with the support of the Ottawa Food Bank

Crystal Gallant, who is the Bethany Hope Centre nourish family food coordinator, would typically help families prepare meals in the community kitchen. Now, they are preparing the ingredients and recipes each week for families to pick up curbside. 

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed this week Salvation Army Week in the capital.  

With Christmas just over a week a way, donations to the Christmas Kettles campaign are in critical need. The Salvation Army says they have raised nearly half of its $300,000 goal.

Randall tells CTV News Ottawa that demand has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the centre would typically serve nearly 500 visitors a year, that number is now close to 1,000.

The Salvation Army supports programs for seniors youth and families as well as the homeless. Cash donations can be made at kettles across the city until Dec. 24 or online at www.salvationarmy.ca/donations/donate-online

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