Salvation Army 2.0

Sara St-Denis of Cornwall Ont. shows off her cell phone on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016 while working the Salvation Army kettle at the local Walmart. St-Denis has been using social media - namely Facebook Live - to bring a new layer to the campaign. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – If you run into Sara St-Denis while going into the local Walmart, chances are you’ll see her with a cell phone in hand while manning the Salvation Army kettle.

The 33-year-old volunteer is taking local fundraising to the next level through her love of social media by bringing her work to Facebook Live.

“I seen a lot of people do it online and it was very popular. I was like, I should try it because there’s a lot of places that it goes viral. I’ve been trying to do it and people are really liking it so, I’m really proud,” St-Denis told Cornwall Newswatch.

With her bubbly personality, St-Denis said she just goes with the flow and turns the camera on.

St-Denis believes she may be one of the first Salvation Army kettle workers to take the campaign to Facebook in real time.

“There’s enough people here in Cornwall that are on social media so I would see them. It was really rewarding,” St-Denis said.

“I’m hoping that with this (Facebook Live) they will be able to see that it’s really important to donate to Salvation Army because we really do need the funds for this beautiful city and people really need it,” she said.

Wearing a Christmas elf hat and a candy cane pin, St-Denis has been adding her own flare to her kettle work, giving out treats like candy canes and chocolates.

St-Denis has lived in Cornwall most of her life – a city she loves.

Sally Ann Pastor Oren Cole says the campaign is going “very good” and they are looking to reach last year’s goal of $100,000. All of the funds stay locally.

With the rising cost of food and increased use of their food bank, Cole said it’s really important as this is the only time of year they appeal to the public for donations.

St-Denis will be working until Dec. 23 – a day before the campaign wraps up.

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