The annual Salvation Army kettle bell holiday fundraiser kicked off at city hall earlier this week and this year it comes with additional ways to donate.

Mayor Rebecca Alty, left shakes Jason Brinson, Corps Leader, Salvation Army’s hand after making the first donation of 2018. Dylan Short/NNSL photo

The campaign officially began when Mayor Rebecca Alty made the first donation inside the council chamber Tuesday evening. The rest of city council took turns donating cash before Coun. Rommel Silverio made history making the first ever debit donation to the fundraiser. This year will be the first year that the Salvation Army will be able to accept debit, credit and apple pay donations.

“Basically we’ve noticed an increase in the number of people that don’t carry cash. So much like when you go and get your groceries at the store, you can now just swipe the card and away you go. said Jason Brinson, Corps Leader, Salvation Army. “The salvation army has been looking at it for awhile and have now implemented  it (in Yellowknife).”

Brinson said the goal of this year’s campaign is to raise $42,000. That money will help the Salvation Army’s community and family services department deliver their programs, including providing family and Christmas hampers to help those in need throughout the holiday season.

“The bulk of it is food hampers, Christmas hampers because the need is great, but we’re very thankful to the Yellowknife community because we know they’ve been very supportive historically. We have faith in the community that they will come through for us again this year,” said Brinson.

Coun. Rommel Silverio, right makes the first debit donation in the history of the campaign North of 60 with the help of Jason Brinson. Dylan Short/NNSL photo

While the campaign officially launched inside City Hall on Tuesday, volunteers hit the street to start collecting donations on Thursday. Those looking donate will be able to find the bells outside both liquor stores, as well as outside Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire. The campaign will run until Dec. 23.

Brinson said the campaign is still looking to recruit volunteers to ring the bells. Those interested can sign up by visiting the Salvation Army’s website or calling their head office.

The Kettle Bell fundraiser has been running for over 100 years across North America, it is unclear how long exactly the campaign has run in Yellowknife.

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