News Local

Salvation Army Kettle Drive

Cheryl Browne

By Cheryl Browne, Barrie Examiner

Major Doug Lewis of the Salvation Army Barrie Bayside Mission Centre makes a stop at a storage locker to retrieve 23 Christmas kettle stands in preparation for this year's campaign. Mark Wanzel/Barrie

Major Doug Lewis of the Salvation Army Barrie Bayside Mission Centre makes a stop at a storage locker to retrieve 23 Christmas kettle stands in preparation for this year's campaign. Mark Wanzel/Barrie

Like Pavlov’s dog, when Barrie residents hear the jingle of a bell, they reach for their wallets.

The Barrie Bayside Mission Centre is kicking off the Salvation Army’s Kettle Drive – its largest fundraiser of the year – with just over five weeks left to reach its goal of collecting $505,000.

“We are here simply to help others in need,” said Maj. Doug Lewis, executive director of the mission on Bayfield Street. “We become peoples’ hands and feet. We accept their donations and give to whoever is in need.”

With 42% of its operating costs coming from Simcoe County, the local shelter must raise the rest of its $1.8 million budget through fundraising, Lewis said.

And this year, the meal program is up by 11%, he said.

“We served 98,000 meals last year. We do approximately 300 each day, with about 100 (people) at lunch and another 200 for dinner,” he added.

The Salvation Army was initially started in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth as the East London Christian Mission.

It opened in Canada in 1882.

In the army’s storage unit, the plastic bubble-style donation bins were stacked neatly across the aisle from the boxes of socks, workpants and toys to be given to men and families in need.

“Obviously we’re a men’s shelter, but we have a family component, too,” Lewis said.

While ladies can go to the Elizabeth Fry Society or the Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie for support, families often have nowhere to turn, he said.

The Bayside Mission supports a dozen families in motels if they have become homeless.

Lewis is hoping the 450 volunteers who rung bells last year and accepted donations at one of the army’s 23 locations will help again this Christmas season.

Regular community donors, such as Starbucks, Fox’s Bakery and Williams Fresh Café offer supplies each day, said the mission’s driver, Tracey Deschamps.

Twice a week, Deschamps picks up offerings from Costco and the Great Canadian Bagel.

“And we get regular donations from Walmart and Georgian Downs, too,” she said.

Between Nov. 6 and 28, the mission is also hosting its Winter Coat Drive and will accept coats, snow pants, mittens, hats and scarves to offer to people who visit the centre.

For information about volunteering or donating to this year’s Kettle Drive, contact Flo at 705-321-2474.

 

CBrowne@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/cherylbrowne1

Major Doug Lewis of the Salvation Army Barrie Bayside Mission Centre makes a stop at a storage locker to retrieve 23 Christmas kettle stands in preparation for this year's campaign. Mark Wanzel/Barrie

 



Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »