313 sleeps more

photo by Darian Mark

Lets be real its never to early to start doing a Christmas countdown. Although we are just weeks after this latest holiday season, one cant help but dream of the Christmas spirit with all the snow we have been getting lately. From the food to family, to giving to receiving, to Christmas carols to crowded malls, however different our familial traditions may be we all share many common elements. One other element that you may or may not associate with the holiday season is The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign.

Canada’s first kettle was used in 1906 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and since then has become one of the countries largest and most recognizable annual charitable events. You can always find a volunteer at the entrances of malls, stores and public spaces with their warm, smiling faces and red Salvation Army gear. Wielding nothing more then their bells and kind energies they collect donations for people in need across the country. The Kettle Campaign is an example of offline crowdsourcing that does not use the digital space to function.

Courtesy of CTV News

It relies on being present and visible in busy spaces during a time when people are thinking of others. After all the Christmas spirit is about giving, so they hope that this attitude translates into also giving to charity as well. No matter how small the individual donation, collectively Canada donated over $23.5 million in 2016, surpassing their $21 million target. Many charities use crowdfunding to generate the capital needed to pursue their charitable endeavours.

Some organizations stick primarily to digital means of connecting with donors like Avaaz, SumOfUS, Change.org. I personally believe that because the media and internet are oversaturated with such graphic images all the time from advertisements, movies and songs, when we see these images on charity sites which are trying to induce guilt or responsibility it doesnt work effectively because we have become so desensitized. Having a real person, who is friendly and tangible asking for donations i think is more effective because it evokes more of our humanity and connects us with a person instead of an idea.

Although the holiday season may be over that doesnt mean the kindness and love needs to stop. We are going through a tumultuous time globally and we could all use a little more positivity in our daily lives.

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