Calgary realtor giving back with volunteer work for Salvation Army kettle campaign

For the past 20 years, realtor Paul Brinton has been a fixture as a volunteer for the Salvation Army’s annual kettle campaign during the Christmas season.

“I volunteer to make a difference so it’s important to promote the Salvation Army and their work,” said Brinton, who has been a realtor since 1991 and with RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) for the past 20 years. “I have been ringing the bells for around 20 years and try to do two three-hour shifts a week throughout their campaign. I do this to make a difference. My time is one of my most precious gifts, and I find it more rewarding to give time.

“Each year there’s always a shortage of volunteers and I encourage others to step up. I’m passionate about the good this charity does.”

Brinton began volunteering for the kettle campaign when he belonged to a service club, the North Hill Lions, at the time.

“When I first started, all I could think about was how good people are and how much we don’t appreciate it. That is how I got hooked,” said Brinton.

“I commit to two days a week every week from the time the campaign starts in late November. Because I’ve been volunteering for so long they usually let me book my shifts early. I tend to be at Market Mall as often as it’s available.”

Brinton said he volunteers each year for the Salvation Army because he wants to give back.

“Because I work this site which is very busy I will see most days $150 to $200 and some days well over $300 . . . The biggest thing and the most rewarding is that over the years people have come up to me in my age group and tell me stories about when they were young the Salvation Army looked after them,” he said.

“To spend three hours in a mall wishing people Merry Christmas, giving the kids candy canes and knowing you’re helping people you’ll never see, it’s amazing. There’s a lot of realtors that do really good things.”

Brinton is a specialist in the senior’s real estate market.

“That’s one of my niche markets that I like to spend time on. Make sure that the seniors are treated properly and not just like another deal,” said the 66-year-old Brinton.

On its website, The Salvation Army describes itself as an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become one of the largest direct providers of social services in the country. “The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada and in 131 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction.”

“The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign is one of Canada’s largest and most recognizable annual charitable events. There are more than 2,000 kettle locations across Canada that support a wide range of Salvation Army programs.

For many Canadians, the Christmas kettles are their only point of contact with The Salvation Army all year. According to public opinion polling, more than half of all Salvation Army donors list “giving to a Christmas kettle” as their primary method of giving to The Salvation Army.”

The first time a kettle was used in Canada was in Toronto in 1903.


Follow RE/MAX