Kettle Campaign stalled by lack of volunteers

Tom Reilly and Fern Duigneault look after the Salvation Army kettle at Safeway in Penticton on Monday, Dec. 22. The campaign is struggling in its final two days due to lack of volunteers.

PENTICTON - With two days left in the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign, Kettle Coordinator Tricia Dobrik is hoping to bolster volunteer ranks in order to reach this year’s goal.

“We barely covered kettle shifts last week, and today we missed three shifts - two at the liquor store and one at Shoppers Drug Mart,” Dobrik said on December 22.

“If the shifts aren’t filled, there is no money coming in from those locations.”

Dobrik said she has noticed a decline in volunteerism as older volunteers step down and retire. It’s become a real issue with this year’s campaign.

“It’s been arduous,” she said, “this year has definitely been a tough campaign.”

Dobrik said the kettle campaign has two days left in Penticton, with 10 two-hour shifts still needed to crew the kettles.

“I’ve been going day to day this year - just worried about filling today’s shifts, let alone the rest of the week,” she said.

She added in spite of the volunteer issues, it was hard not to be grateful for the generosity exhibited by Penticton residents. 

Tom Reilly and Fern Duigneault shared a shift at Penticton Safeway on Monday afternoon. They also noticed the generosity of those contributing.

“We just set up here 20 minutes ago, and our the first two people to come by dropped $20 bills into the kettle,” said Duigneault. The two men were part of a contingent of Summerland Masonic Lodge members who donated their time to the kettle campaign this year.

The campaign was sitting about $15,000 short of its goal of $90,000 on the weekend. Dobrik is hoping to attract a few more volunteers to get through the final two days.

“If we can make our target by Christmas it will be a miracle, but I believe in Christmas miracles. If you have more time than money, please come out and donate a couple of hours.”

Those interested in volunteering for the Salvation Army should call Tricia Dobrik at 250-809-5234.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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