By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on November 24, 2023.
With the Christmas holidays fast approaching and with many people slowly starting to get their shopping done, the Salvation Army with the help of Lethbridge Masons have set up their annual kettle at Park Place Mall to begin collecting generous donations.
District deputy grandmaster for the Chinook Arch District with the Lethbridge Masons, Tobias Terrill spoke on Thursday about the many years of involvement with the mall’s kettle.
“Over 30 years ago the Masonic organizations, which includes groups such as Shriners, Order of the Eastern Star, Royal Arch Masonry and includes Freemasonry as well, all came together and decided that we would man and do the volunteer work for this kettle in Park Place Mall,” said Terrill.
Â He said the kettle has been under their care throughout the holiday season ever since which allows members of the different Masonic organization to put in over 70 hours shifts throughout the holiday season.
“Freemasonry is founded on many different principles. One of those is charity and charity comes in multiple forms, not just on a monetary donation form, which we’re doing today, but it also comes in giving of our time, as time is one of the most valuable resources that we have in the world and giving your time to charity and extending that to another person is one of the greatest gifts you can possibly give,” said Terrill.
The Lethbridge Masons presented Lt. Zach Marshall of the Salvation Army with a donation on Thursday which is said to be a substantial amount, in combination with their gift of time.
To collect those funds, Terrill said Masons do internal fundraisers which include raffles, and voluntary donations from members of the various masonic organizations.
“It’s done quietly and discreetly. If a member can donate they will, and as you know, small amounts from each individual mass to bigger amounts later on,” said Terrill.
Marshall says the monetary donation goes a long way in supporting the Salvation Army this Christmas and throughout the year.
“But the biggest help that we received from the Masons at Christmas time is the manning of the Park Place Mall kettle. They have been doing it for over 30 years and it’s just one less thing that we have to organize at such a busy time,” said Marshall.
Â He said the fact that one out of their six kettle locations is already taken care of and they don’t have to recruit more volunteers to do that is amazing.
Â “It really speaks to their commitment to their community and their support of us to help us out like this,” said Marshall.
Â He said their goal for this year is to raise $100,000 from the six kettle locations.
Â “We’ve been fairly successful in years past to raise that. We also do another campaign which is direct mail gift in kind, so all in all this Christmas we’re looking to raise $250,000 in Lethbridge alone and we always are pretty close to that, if not we exceed the goals,” said Marshall.
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