Kettle campaign needs help
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on December 16, 2013 1:46 PM
Halfway into its kettle campaign, the Salvation Army is halfway to its goal of $87,000. But the group also has five less days this year for bell ringers to raise the funds that care for the needy in the community.
"We're about halfway to our goal," Salvation Army commander Lt. Kenny Igleheart said. "But I know the problem of being five days short is going to be an issue. I'm ahead year to date, but I know I'm going to be behind."
There are just 11 more days for people to donate to the kettle campaign.
On any given day, there are between nine and 12 red kettles at various locations throughout Wayne County, Igleheart said.
"It varies from location to location," he said. "Some days are not profitable to be at certain locations, like the mall Monday through Thursday during the day."
There are about as many volunteers as there were last year, Igleheart said, but there are still quite a few paid bell ringers, too.
"Weekends are usually full with volunteers," Igleheart said. "It's during the week I have trouble getting volunteers. I get some volunteers through the week, but not as many as I need."
The prize location that a lot of volunteers ask for is Sam's. That's also the location that raises the most money, Igleheart said.
"The second spot is Carlie C's," he said. "It's very close to being the top location in dollars raised. I think it goes back to the fact that people going in there are the common Wayne County person, and they realize what we do and are willing to support us."
That's what two of the volunteer bell ringers at Sam's have found this year.
Richard Slozak said he hears a lot of stories about how the Salvation Army has helped people, especially people who serve their country.
"You hear a lot of stories of where they were in the war and what the Salvation Army did for them while they were in the war," Slozak said. "And with the Salvation Army, they know where the money's going. People give because they want to give, and you hear their stories."
Slozak is ringing the bell between eight and 10 hours this year. In years past and before he had a stroke and now must ring the bell from his wheelchair, he would be out at the kettle between 25 and 30 hours each Christmas season.
"It's the spirit of Christmas," he said about ringing the bell. "The Salvation Army does things throughout the year, but it's the time of year where I'm thankful for everything I have, and it's my way of giving back to the people who've got less."
Ringing the bell with Slozak was Kathy Daniels, who has been on the Salvation Army board for four years and who has been helping with the kettle campaign for four years.
"I've always loved the Salvation Army, and have been involved with it," she said. "My father was very involved when I was growing up. We love the work the Salvation Army does and its beliefs and what it does for the people in the community."
She, too, hears donors' stories.
"I am amazed about how many people talk about what the Salvation Army has done for them, and that's why they like to give," she said. "They remember what the Salvation Army did for them growing up."
Money raised by the kettle campaign is used not only for Christmas help, but throughout the year with medicine, food, utilities, rent assistance, clothing, shelter and more, Igleheart said.