One of Flin Flon’s largest congregations is back out and about to raise money for the less fortunate over the holidays.
The Salvation Army’s annual kettle campaign has kicked off, both in Flin Flon and around North America. Church members and volunteers will be ringing the traditional bell at both Walmart and the North of 53 Consumers’ Co-op stores.
According to the authorized tale of the Salvation Army, the Christmas kettle drive tradition dates back to 1891, when Captain Joseph McFee took a tradition from his native England and began placing pots at ferry stations around San Francisco to raise money for the poor. The Salvation Army has operated kettle drives in Canada since 1903, holding them in over 2,000 places across Canada.
“All the donations made to the kettle campaign stay here in this area,” said Major Albert Bain in a presentation to the Flin Flon Rotary Club Nov. 21.
Last year, the local chapter of the Salvation Army raised $22,000 from the kettle drives and Christmas Cheer program. The funds are available to groups and families in Flin Flon, Creighton, Denare Beach, Sherridon and Cranberry Portage.
Families in need of a Christmas hamper can register at the Salvation Army church on Hemlock Drive Nov. 26-28. One hundred and ten hampers were provided through the program last year, including toys for children collected by the Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre.
“Christmas hampers give parents the ability to see the sparkle in their children's eyes Christmas morning when they open their gifts and when they enjoy scrumptious Christmas dinners. That's why this program is so important and why we are so grateful for the support that our communities give us each year,” said Major Barbara Bain.
This year, the Salvation Army has also teamed up with the St. Peter and St. James Anglican Church to provide a lunch twice a week for up to 60 people, including for homeless people and undernourished kids.