She’s the queen of kettles, and isn’t afraid to admit it.
The Salvation Army’s Christmas kettle coordinator Jennifer Fryatt is in need of some of that PG generosity that has helped the Sally Ann provide thousands of families with much needed food and services. And with November 25 being the official kettle kickoff, time is of the essence.
“I’ve figured it out,” said Fryatt with a grin. “There’s 26 days in the kettle campaign, with 15 different locations – so that means we need 390 days worth of volunteers.”
Last year the campaign raised $97,000 for the Salvation Army’s ongoing efforts to provide needy families with food, services, toys and other means throughout the year. “Prince George is incredibly generous,” said Fryatt. “And we need to keep that going.”
The kettle program is the main fundraising campaign for the Salvation Army, providing the foundation with the much needed cash for their entire year of feeding those less fortunate.
“The Salvation Army is the largest provider of social services in Prince George and in B.C.,” said pastor/envoy Bruce Kirk. “The campaign is very, very important.”
Indeed last year the Salvation Army provided fresh bread and produce to over 12,488 citizens in PG, served hot meals to 16,608 citizens, distributed hampers every month to 550 people, provided 762 families with Christmas hampers and provided 1,090 children with toys.
“And those numbers don’t even go into the medical care provided,” added Kirk.
With the holiday season being their busiest, Fryatt, Kirk and a host of other volunteers are hard at work getting the word out, promoting events and ensuring every family in PG in need of some holiday help are well informed.
“We have the Adopt a Family program,” said Fryatt. “That’s where businesses and/or individuals are connected with a family and the sponsor provides essentials and extras for a local family in need this Christmas. Last year 347 children and youth received gifts and essentials through this program.”
There’s also the Christmas Hamper program, the Nov. 30 Tree Lighting atop the Coast Inn of the North, the Dec. 16 Community Services dinner and the Dec. 17 Prince George Cougars game and Teddy Bear Toss at the CN Centre.
“Of course there’s also the extremely popular Annual Santa Train,” said Fryatt. “Tickets go on sale Sunday, Nov. 20 at the VIA Rail Station on First at 9 a.m.”
Check out www.tsainpg.com for more information on all the Salvation Army’s upcoming and current programs. You can also download volunteer sheets for the kettle campaign and for those wanting to access the foundation’s Christmas Hampers or Adopt-A-Family Program (deadline Dec. 1).
“There’s so much that needs to be done,” said Kirk.