Calgary’s Christmas Kettle Campaign kicked off at the Hope in the City luncheon on November 26 with an inspirational message from Mr. Joe Roberts, the Skid Row CEO. Mr. Roberts described his childhood and family life as something out of a TV-sitcom until his father died suddenly when he was eight years old. Struggling to cope with his father’s death and his mother’s remarriage, Joe turned to drugs for the first time at age nine. This began a 15 year struggle with addictions that eventually left him homeless and pushing a shopping cart around the streets of East Vancouver. During those years, Mr. Roberts said The Salvation Army’s door was always open to him, welcoming him and extending kindness and support. Finally ready to change his life, Mr. Roberts reached out one day and asked for help contacting his mother so he could begin the recovery process. Mr. Roberts overcame his addiction, attended college and became a successful and awarded business entrepreneur. He is a tremendous example of how anyone can overcome adversity and today shares his story across the country because he believes that all people are worthy of help and support regardless of what circumstance, wrong turn or bad choice has led them to where they are.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi extended greetings from the city and made the first kettle donation. He encouraged the nearly 600 in attendance to give a little more this year if they can, given the struggles of so many in our community.
The Christmas Kettle Campaign depends on the generosity of the public and thousands of dedicated volunteers. All donations go directly to funding programs and services for local individuals and families. There are many ways that you can help, whether it’s making a donation or volunteering just a few hours of your time. Donations can be made at any of the Christmas Kettles located across Calgary, by visiting www.fillethekettle.com, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. To volunteer, please call 403-410-1113.
A special thank you goes out to all of our Hope in the City sponsors for their generous support toward the kettle campaign’s $1,000,000 goal.