Do you have a few hours to spare — and some Christmas cheer — this holiday season?
With the annual Salvation Army kettle campaign warming up three locations around Trail, the church is looking for some kettle hosts to help them out from now and until Christmas Eve.
Volunteers are needed to oversee the kettle from Monday to Saturday, in two-hour shifts.
The kettles will be in three locations: outdoors at Safeway in East Trail and Trail Walmart; and indoors at Waneta Plaza.
Volunteers are asked to call Deanna Peters, Community Ministries Director, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at: 250.368.3515 (church office); or Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 250.512.7400 (cell).
The Trail Times met with pastors Eric and Rachael Olson earlier this week. After ministering in Germany for the past 14 years, the Olsons arrived in Trail only three months ago.
Trail, however, is familiar to Eric as he was born and raised in the city.
So the Times asked about his observations regarding needs around town, thus far.
He said there has been an increase in demand for Salvation Army services over the past year and there will be this Christmas, given the church will be distributing well over 200 Christmas hampers next month. In 2021, the ministry distributed around 200 Christmas hampers.
“The increase is particularly from what I would call ‘working poor,’” Eric said. “Due to the increase in cost of living — we are helping not only homes struggling to find gainful employment — but also single and dual income households.”
To help fund their local services, the Trail ministry is hoping to raise $130,000 this Christmas.
“We separate our goal between two aspects of our Christmas Assistance Program,” Eric explained. “Our goal for the kettle campaign is $40,000 and we aim to raise $90,000 via the Christmas Letter Appeal Campaign.”
Money from the latter helps the Trail Salvation Army keep their kitchen up and running over 12 months.
Last year alone, the ministry served upwards of 12,000 prepared meals through Kate’s Kitchen, located in the Gulch.
Further, the organization served more than 500 households with food hampers, and many of these households received assistance more than once.
“The Greater Trail area is very generous and community minded,” Eric shared. “We see that in our volunteers and donors — without you this would not be possible. Thank you, Greater Trail area.”
With the ministry’s thrift store temporarily located at the Trail mall, and the food pantry miles away on Rossland Avenue, the Olsons say the new year will hold big changes when they all come together under one roof.
The downtown building at 1460 Cedar Ave. is undergoing extensive renovations, which are slated for completion in 2023.
When that happens, Eric says the hope is for the ministry to extend hot meal services.
The Salvation Army has been serving the Trail area for over 100 years. Services and programs have changed, innovated, and adapted to fit the needs of the community over time.
Currently, the ministry has three operational sites in Trail: the church at 2030 Second Ave.; the Thrift store, Waneta Plaza; and Community and Family Services known as Kate’s Kitchen, at 730 Rossland Ave.
The church says, “These three aspects of our ministry work together to meet the holistic needs of everyone in our community; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”