IN BRIEF: Christmas news items

A close up of holly and cedar boughs used to decorate the entrance of the Historic Stewart Farm.

GOOGLE AN ARMY KETTLE

It’s an unmistakable sign – and sound – that the Christmas season has arrived.

Kettles and bell-ringers will be stationed at nearly 2,000 locations across Canada, as part of the 2010 Salvation Army Kettle Campaign, which kicked off Nov. 18.

Proceeds help fund the Army’s winter relief programs and is used for Christmas Hampers for families and individuals in need.

This year, it’s easier than ever to find a kettle location near you. The Salvation Army has launched a website that features a Google Maps application that allows visitors to find a Kettle location. Zoom in to find the Kettle and even track donations – all with the click of a mouse or tap of your smart phone.

Visit http://fillthekettle.com

Approximately 3 million Canadians, or one in 11 people, live in poverty. The 2010 Christmas Campaign helps the Salvation Army provide service and programs to more than 1.6 million Canadians.

A SAFE RIDE HOME

Operation Red Nose is seeking volunteers for the holidays.

The 15th annual campaign runs from Nov. 26 to the end of December, helping make the holidays safer for everyone.

More than 3,500 British Columbians answered the call last year, responding to requests for safe rides home.

Organizers are hoping for more help this year.

“It’s great to see that from one year to the next we continue to behave more responsibly with regards to impaired driving while enjoying the fun that comes with the holiday season,,” says Jean-marie De Konick, founding president of Operation Red Nose.

The organization’s partners include ICBC, CTV and the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

Canada-wide, more than 50,900 volunteers offered 73,193 rides in 2009.

To download a volunteer application form, visit www.operationrednose.com

COATS FOR KIDS

There’s still time to contribute to the Coats for Kids campaign – a program that distributes warm clothing, blankets and toys to children across B.C.

Here in the Lower Mainland, Coats for Kids – a program of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, a group that helps provide a brighter Christmas for families in need – is supported by the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association.

The association’s head office and 33 member companies at 46 locations are serving as coat drop-off sites, from Nov. 15 to 30.

“Last year the response to Coats for Kids was heartwarming as Lower Mainland residents donated more than 3,000 coats, scarves, gloves, blankets and new unwrapped toys and gifts for distribution to children, teenagers and adults,” GVHBA chairman Todd Senft said.

“I am delighted so many prominent members of our association are participating.”

Drop off locations include: BC Classifieds, 102 5460 152 St., Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association #1003 7495 132 Street, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., MPB Construction Ltd., #62 15515 24 Avenue, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Stor-More Closets & Blinds Ltd. at 111 19231 54 Ave. M-F from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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