Salvation Army starts Christmas charity collections

Money is donated to low income families to help them buy food during the festive season.

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Salvation Army collection point in Helsinki / Credit: News Now Finland

The Salvation Army Pelastusarmeja has launched its Christmas appeal, to help low income families and underprivileged children across the country.

The first red kettle charity fundraiser took place back in 1906, before Finland became independent, and so this year marks the 112th time the Salvation Army has asked people to dig deep into their pockets.

“Many Finnish people consider that Christmas begins when the red kettles come to the streets” says the Salvation Army’s Anne Fredriksson.

“The money is used to help poor people, mainly families, but also some other people who somehow their lives have got to that point that they can’t afford to buy things for Christmas” she explains.

There’s several hundred volunteers helping out this year, with 130 red kettles in more than 30 towns and cities.

“We are offering some gift cards, and then they can buy food with these gift cards, and also we are arranging some Christmas parties as there are some families who can’t afford to arrange anything themselves, so we invite them to a nice Christmas meal and singing” Fredriksson tells News Now Finland.

Last year the Salvation Army raised €930,000 during their Christmas charity appeal.