Agree or disagree with Kervin’s Corner? Write a letter to the editor at editor@ northislandgazette.com and we will publish it online and in print.

Agree or disagree with Kervin’s Corner? Write a letter to the editor at editor@ northislandgazette.com and we will publish it online and in print.

Kervin’s Corner: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It’s the holiday season and North Island locals are getting into a generous spirit.

The North Island is showing their festive side as communities are lighting up Christmas trees and hanging up holiday decorations to bring on the cheer, but that’s not the only thing locals are doing.

Many non-profit organizations – charities, service providers and food banks – are going the extra mile to ensure those less fortunate are well taken care of this chilling winter season. The winter cold certainly doesn’t harden the North Island’s heart as Salvation Army, Harvest Food Bank, and many others are spending countless hours collecting donations.

Salvation Army’s lighthouse centre has already raised more than $1,500 for the Christmas Kettle campaign. In the past, the local kettle campaign has typically set $13,000 as their goal. Kettles are placed in Save-On-Foods and at the Port Hardy Shopping Centre near the entrance to the BC Liquor store.

While many government agencies fund the organization, the Salvation Army does rely on donations from events such as these to make up nearly 30 per cent of their annual budget.

During Christmas time, the shelter typically sees an uprise in stays, which saw a 431 per cent increase since 2014. In fact, shelter stays hover around 2,417 in 2017, which could mean the Salvation Army is making the shelter more accessible to those who need it.

Meals have also increased over the years as well, but even more so during Christmas when families who live in poverty typically struggle to put food on the table. From 2014 meals were around 14,848 but in 2017 the meals given was 24,189.

The campaign is one of the biggest annual charitable events across Canada. The nonprofit organization has over 2,000 kettles that go toward the Salvation Army’s programs, like providing food, clothing shelter to those living in poverty.

In fact, according to their website the Salvation Army helps over 1.9 people every year across the nation, and these charitable campaigns make that possible. Typically, the donations stay in the community to directly support the town’s social service programs.

The first official Christmas Kettle campaign started 1903 in Toronto.

Another annual charity event is Cram the Cruiser. Port McNeill has now run it for four years, usually raising around a few thousand kilograms of food and a couple thousand in money which go to Harvest Food Bank’s busiest time of the year.

Harvest Food Bank provides monthly food boxes which are distributed throughout the Mount Waddington region, which is especially needed during this time of the year.

Finally, a number of Christmas bazaars were put on – Kwakiutl and Eagle View Elementary School to name a couple – to raise funds for their own organizations, but nonetheless, locals came out to support the Christmas events.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quatsino First Nation is heading back to the polls. (Quatsino image)
Quatsino First Nation electing new chief and council

The ballot count will be broadcast over Zoom after polls close

Christmas decorations at Gus' Pub. (Opal Tesch photo)
Gus’ Bar and Grill gets into the holiday spirit

Gus’ Bar and Grill has been a fixture in Port McNeill since… Continue reading

Mike Aldersey, the Port McNeill base manager for West Coast Helicopters has been awarded the prestigious Agar/Stringer Award by the Helicopter Association of Canada. (Submitted photo)
Vancouver Island pilot receives coveted helicopter industry award

Port McNeill based Mike Aldersey is the recipient of the 2o2o Agar/Stringer Award given out to select few Canadians

The notice at Port Hardy Secondary School’s athletic track. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
SD85 school tracks closed to the public during school hours

To keep P.E. classes safe, the restriction went into effect Nov. 30

Shoebox Project logo
Donate now to the Campbell River/North Island Shoebox Project

There is just over a week to go in The Campbell River/North Island Shoebox Project campaign

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Most Read