FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. The Fort St. John Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign has officially kicked off and will look a little more familiar compared to last year.

The campaign was modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with fewer kettles being manned by volunteers. Executive director Jared Braun believes this is why the organization has had a hard time recruiting volunteers this year.

“We probably still have several 100 hours to fill between now and December 24th,” said Braun. “We can have volunteers. We just have to follow all the protocols. ”

The requirements align with the public health orders, meaning volunteers will have to wear masks, and there are also Personal Protective Equipment and sanitizing stations at each kettle.

The kettles also have a contactless option where those willing to donate can use the tap option using their debit or credit card.

For anyone looking to volunteer, email christmas@nchope.ca.

“We’d be glad to plug them into a spot that can be just a one-hour shift, or if they want to take a couple of hours through a week, or maybe there’s a store they love to hang out with that. We’ll try and work with them to get them into a place where they’re really well connected.”

Braun says the campaign is important for engagement between the Salvation Army and the community, with volunteers being a key piece, bringing a more personal experience.

The goal for this year’s campaign is $100,000 and kettles will be located at all the grocery stores in the city, Totem Mall and Canadian Tire.

Last year, the Kettle Campaign surpassed the goal of $75,000 and ended with over $130,000 collected.