Janelle Colbourne has only been in Cumberland County a few months, but she has already seen the generosity of people reaching out to help those in their time of need.
The lieutenant with the Salvation Army in Springhill was joined by Municipality of Cumberland Mayor Murray Scott, District 5 Coun. Angel McCormick, District 6 Coun. Mark Joseph and Cumberland South MLA and Natural Resources and Renewables Minister Tory Rushton in kicking off the annual Christmas Kettle Campaign at the Foodland store in Springhill.
The goal of the campaign is $50,000.
Mayor Murray Scott joined with District 5 Coun. Angel McCormick and District 6 Coun. Mark Joseph and Cumberland South MLA and Natural Resources Minister Tory Rushton to help the Salvation Army launch its 2023 Christmas Kettle Campaign at the Springhill Foodland on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. Joining the mayor, councillors and the MLA were Lt. Janelle Colbourne and Bev Sharpe from the Salvation Army and Foodland frontend manager Melody Mills and store manager Ashley Redmond. Darrell Cole – Municipality of Cumberland photo
“It’s such an important campaign in that all the money we raise stays here in Cumberland County and enables us to help people throughout the year,” Colbourne said. “We know it’s going to be more difficult this year because times are a lot tougher than they’ve been in a long time. We’ll be happy and appreciative of whatever amount we raise.”
The Salvation Army has seen the demand for its services increase in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the economy in 2020 and 2021 and while things opened up again in 2022 with the removal of restrictions, people have continued to struggle.
“We’ve been very busy,” she said. “It’s hard for me to compare because I’ve only been here a short time, but from what I’ve been told the food bank in Springhill is busier than it’s ever been. It’s almost as soon as we get food donations, they’re gone. There are a lot of families who’ve come to us for help that we haven’t seen in a while.”
Kettles are located at the Foodland in Springhill until Christmas, as well as at the Atlantic Superstore, Giant Tiger and Walmart in Amherst.
Volunteers are staffing the kettles and people are encouraged to donate what they can.
Anyone wishing to assist the campaign, can contact the Salvation Army at 902-597-3954.
Mayor Scott said the Salvation Army has done a lot for Cumberland County and he’s hopeful people will give what they can when they pass by the kettles.
“Salvation Army has a long tradition in our community. I think back to the mine disasters in Springhill and how they were there helping people and providing food when needed,” Scott said. “Their work in the community has continued since then and I’m hopeful people will support this campaign.”
Scott said the money raised by the kettle campaign will help a lot of families at Christmas, but the assistance provided by the Salvation Army from the fundraiser is year-round.
“They do so much for our county, but they can’t do it alone,” the mayor said. “I’m encouraging the people of Cumberland County to give what they can to support this important campaign that really helps people who really need assistance.”
The 133rd Christmas Kettle Campaign was launched by the Salvation Army on Nov. 21, aiming to support 2.7 million vulnerable individuals across 400 communities throughout Canada.
The economic challenges posed by ongoing and rising prices have let to a 31 per cent increase in new households seeking assistance from the Salvation Army’s community services this year.
The Salvation Army assists more than 180,000 across the Maritimes. Along with support for food banks, the campaign raises money for things like children’s breakfast programs, housing supports, substance-use recovery, emergency disaster relief and Christmas support.