The annual Christmas Kettle Campaign by the Salvation Army could use some more help from the community.
"We need lots of volunteers," said Shirley Stewart, overseeing the campaign this year. "We have lots, but we still have lots of spaces."
The campaign is familiar to anyone who has gone shopping during the Christmas season.
Volunteers, armed with jingle bells and thank-you cards, stand outside local stores and wish people a merry Christmas.
Many of those passersby drop coins, and the odd bill, into the red kettles watched over by the volunteers.
The money collected here stays in Langley, noted Stewart, who talked to the Langley Advance this week while thousands of coins were sorted and counted.
Cash raised by the annual kettle campaign goes towards the Salvation Army's Gateway of Hope.
The Gateway is a shelter for the homeless, especially on bitterly cold winter nights. But it is also designed to help people get off the streets, to find permanent homes, and job training, and to help people improve their own opportunities.
The money from the kettles will go towards everything from the meals served daily at the Gateway, to chef training, the Options Program, to the emergency shelter itself.
The ultimate goal this year is to raise $250,000, a tall order with the cash being raised just a few handfuls of change at a time.
"People have been so generous so far," said Stewart. "But Langley's like that."
The kettles can be found all around town in almost every neighbourhood, but especially at shopping hot spots where people will be gathering to do their Christmas shopping.
The Willowbrook Shopping Centre, various IGA locations, Wal-Mart, London Drugs, Canadian Tire, Army & Navy, Otter Co-op, and liquor stores will all host kettles inside or near their entrances.
There will be kettles at the Costco on weekends.
Stewart is still looking for local residents to fill many of the shifts between now and Christmas, when the campaign ends.
To volunteer for a two or three hour shift, call the Salvation Army at 604514-7375 and ask to speak to the Kettle Campaign coordinator.
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