The familiar ringing of handbells has gone silent at shopping malls in White Rock and South Surrey this year as the Salvation Army tries to cope with COVID-19 rules at a time of dropping donations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elaine Thompson

The familiar ringing of handbells has gone silent at shopping malls in White Rock and South Surrey this year as the Salvation Army tries to cope with COVID-19 rules at a time of dropping donations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elaine Thompson

Salvation Army introduces ‘kettle-in-the-mail’ campaign

Traditional kettle program cancelled for this year in South Surrey/White Rock

The Salvation Army, serving communities since 1865, has had to take a different approach in reaching out to the community of South Surrey/White Rock this year, and is asking local residents to pay close attention to their mail this week.

The familiar ringing of bells outside residents’ favourite South Surrey and White Rock stores is noticeably absent this holiday season.

Instead, this year, the organization has created a direct-mail campaign.

“It’s a kettle-in-the-mail kind of approach, so people can mail in or drop off their donation in the envelope provided,” a release issued Tuesday (Dec. 21) notes.

“It explains very clearly … why residents are getting this letter and the circumstances involved.”

The letter appeal campaign sent to residents’ home asks for support to continue running the programs which benefit families and seniors in need in the community.

In past years, the Salvation Army has had its dedicated volunteers outside designated stores for its familiar kettle campaign, leading up to Christmas.

However, the area co-ordinator, who organizes the kettles each year, is unavailable after undergoing emergency surgery, the release explains.

“This year, the Corps Officers came up with the crucial decision of mailing 33,000 letters to the community.”

Every donation received will stay in this community, providing emergency food assistance to those in need, and programs for children, youths, and seniors alike.

“This has been a challenging year for many towns in our province facing forest fires and recently the flood situation, and people in isolation needing food,” the release continues.

“The demand for Salvation programs has never been higher; more people are visiting our Food Bank throughout the last two years while facing the pandemic that has affected many homes.

“Our commitment and call is to continue to do the work we do supporting the communities and people that are most vulnerable.”

For more information, visit https://whiterocksa.ca

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