The Christmas kettle campaign is only a few days in but Capt. Jamie Locke of the Salvation Army in Charlottetown says early donations are ringing a promising note.
"We are actually counting the kettles now and things are looking good,'' Locke said during a telephone interview Monday afternoon.
"It looks like people are showing their support early.''
Last year, the campaign raised about $79,000 for the Salvation Army in Charlottetown, which serves both Kings and Queens Counties. The tally was well above the goal of $70,000.
This year, due in large part to last year's successful campaign, the target has been set at $80,000.
The kettle campaign, notes Locke, is quite a logistical operation.
The Salvation Army in Charlottetown has nine kettles in total: six are in Charlottetown and one each in Stratford, Souris and Montague. Volunteers man the kettles from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The money is collected every night, counted and deposited.
"It's a massive undertaking,'' said Locke.
"It's quite a big program.''
Money first started pouring into the familiar red kettles in 1891 in San Francisco and the Christmas campaign remains a vital part of the Salvation Army's fundraising.
The campaign has updated for the times today by adding The Virtual Kettle, an online tool that allows participants to customize their own kettle fundraising webpage and invite others via e-mail and social media to donate in support of the work of The Salvation Army.
Locke says money that is raised from the Christmas kettle campaign this year that runs through Dec. 24, will contribute to a number of programs and services offered by the Salvation Army.