Salvation Army kicks off Kettle Campaign in Woodstock

by | Nov 23, 2023

Annual Christmas fundraising effort helps deliver acts of kindness all year

The familiar red kettles returned to four of Woodstock’s most prominent retailers on Thursday, Nov. 23, as Salvation Army Majors Angel and Marlene Sandoval, with help from Woodstock’s Mayor Trina Jones, kicked off the 2023 Christmas Kettle Campaign.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Saturday between Nov. 23 and Dec. 23, area residents and visitors can help fill the kettles with cash at Sobey’s, Atlantic Superstore, Canadian Tire and Walmart. This year, Woodstock’s AYR Motor Centre will host a kettle.

Marlene Sandoval said funds collected during the Salvation Army Woodstock Community Church’s largest annual campaign help it deliver “acts of kindness” where needed throughout the year.

“It is with grateful thanks that we humbly acknowledge the generous community support to our annual Christmas appeal,” she said. “We are preparing for what will be another Christmas season throughout our Kettle Campaign filled with wonderful opportunities to help assist those who need practical support during Christmas and beyond.”

Mayor Jones joined the Sandovals in the Sobey’s lobby on Thursday morning, Nov. 23, to officially launch the 2023 campaign.

The mayor not only represented Woodstock council, staff and residents, but she, as Best Western Plus Woodstock executive director, joined the hotel’s general manager, Christi Kennedy, and other staff members to oversee the Sobey’s kettle all day on Nov. 23.

Jones said Best Western would match all funds stuffed into the kettle during the day.

The mayor and the Sandovals stressed the continuous need for volunteers to man the kettles at the five Woodstock locations.

“There’s a huge need for volunteers,” said Jones. “I encourage everyone to contact the Salvation Army and volunteer a few hours.”

Anyone with time and interest in taking a shift at one of the kettles can call Major Angel Sandoval at 506-328-8276.

The Sandovals also encourage businesses to allow staff time to take a shift with the kettles or donate to the campaign.

“A huge thank you to all the businesses and staff who have matched funds and manned the Salvation Army kettles in the past, and all businesses are invited to participate in any way in this important annual fundraiser,” said Marlene Sandoval.

As it has for several years, Woodstock’s Scotiabank staff will oversee the kettles on Sunday, Dec. 9, and the bank will match donations on the day.

Marlene Sandoval explained that the Salvation Army uses the funds raised during the annual Christmas campaign to help individuals or families with necessities, including food, clothing, medicine, heating, and shelter throughout the year. She said they cover an area from Nackawic to Grand Falls.

“Your donations allow us to offer, not a handout, but a hand up to hundreds of families who have met with hard times for the cost of living,” she said. “We want to ensure hope in the midst of hardship and services towards a better future.”

The Sandovals explained residents can donate to the Salvation Army beyond the kettles. They explained anyone can mail a contribution to the Salvation Army Woodstock Community Church, 100 Eastwood Driver, Woodstock N.B., E7M 1P4.

They can also drop off donations at the same address anytime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Marlene Sandoval said the Salvation Army will once again host a community dinner on Dec. 3 at the church. She said everyone is welcome, but they ask anyone planning to attend to call 06-328-8276 to confirm.

She said that will ensure they have the required food to feed those attending.

“We don’t want to be short or see food go to waste,” she said.

Marlene Sandoval said the dinner provides a delicious meal and an excellent social opportunity.

The Sandovals said the annual Christmas campaign is an extension of the church’s mandate.

“The Salvation Army means fighting for good. We help. We stand and make a difference because we love God, and we love people.” Marlene said.

She quoted Jesus’s words from Mathew 25: 35-40

“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.

“I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.

“I was a stranger and you invited me in.

“I needed clothes and you clothed me.

“I was sick and you looked after me.

“I was in prison and you came to visit me.

“Whatever you did for one of the least of those, my brothers, you did it for me.”

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