Salvation Army kettles return

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

It’s that time of year again, to open your hearts and wallets to help those in need across the District.

The Fort Frances Salvation Army has kicked off its annual Christmas Kettle Campaign, which sees funds collected throughout November and December go towards helping people in need within the Rainy River District.

The organization’s campaign kickoff took place on the morning of Friday, November 12 at Walmart, with Salvation Army Corps Manager Arthur Heathcote and Fort Frances Mayor June Caul on hand.

“Our Kettle Campaign is going to be running from November 12 right through to December 23,” Heathcote said.

“We’re going to be at Walmart, The Place, and we’re also going to be at Safeway as well as Cloverleaf in Emo and Beaver Mills Market in Rainy River.”

The annual drive is pulling out all the stops this year. Anyone who has seen the Salvation Army and its many volunteers in action in past years knows how it works; those who wish to contribute simply place their coins or bills into the signature red kettle to help contribute to the cause. This year, however, the kettle has been upgraded to take advantage of touchless and cashless trends.

“This year we have added a special Tap feature for those people who don’t carry cash anymore,” Heathcote said.

“We’ve made it very easy for them to be able to donate just through a Tappable unit right on the machine. And in the event we don’t have a volunteer standing right by the kettle, they are still able to donate through the Tap mechanism. That being said, we need those volunteers this year, so if anyone would like to give a minimum two of hours of their time in the next few weeks, they can give us a call at 807-274-3771.”

Heathcote said they introduced the Tap feature last year, but encountered some technical difficulties that have since been worked out. He said he’s hopeful that the extra option for donations will allow for more people to contribute this year.

“Any time you add even one extra option, you’re bound to have a certain amount of success with it,” he said.

Anyone interested in volunteering to ring the bells at the kettle can also email the Salvation Army at

Caul said the Salvation Army continues to play an important role in town, especially as we approach a season known not only for charitable giving, but also increased costs around food, gifts and heating.

“This is going to be the second Christmas now where people still don’t have jobs,” Caul said.

“Things aren’t back to normal. Things are going to be difficult all around for people to not only get gifts for their children but food for their bodies. We know that food has gone up in price, as everything else has, so it makes it more difficult, especially for people with lower incomes who haven’t been able to work for some reason or other. It’s so important at this time of year that we always have to help our neighbour.”

“We’re so lucky to have the Salvation Army,” Caul continued.

“If it wasn’t for them, there would be a lot of people who would really be in dire straits, especially around this time of year. All through the year the Salvation Army is there for everybody whenever they need them, and they don’t turn anybody away.”