Ringers needed as Salvation Army prepares for fundraiserA holiday fixture across the country is getting ready to make its reappearance in Jamestown, as the Salvation Army is preparing to launch its annual Christmas Kettle Campaign.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
A holiday fixture across the country is getting ready to make its reappearance in Jamestown, as the Salvation Army is preparing to launch its annual Christmas Kettle Campaign.
“Basically everything that goes into the kettle we send back out in the community,” said Salvation Army Lt. Mitch Brecto.
The smaller counter kettles will start being placed at various businesses in the next few days and the traditional kettles with stands and bell ringers will start going out Nov. 19 and Nov. 26.
The locations starting on Nov. 19 include County Market and the Buffalo Mall. Walmart will start hosting bell ringers on Nov. 26. All locations will have bell ringers from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until Christmas Eve.
The goal this year is to match last year’s total of $105,000.
“Jamestown is a wonderful, caring community and there are a lot of people that have a good heart,” Brecto said. “I’m sure we’ll come through in the end.”
The Christmas Kettle Campaign is the primary fundraiser for the Salvation Army and the funds collected through this event fuel programs throughout the year.
Programs that the kettles benefit include the food pantry, youth programs, transportation assistance, housing and electrical assistance and many more.
“If we don’t make goal we’d have to cut some of the services we provide,” Bretco said.
Lt. Teresa Brecto agreed that the kettle campaign is vital for the Salvation Army and the people it helps.
“We don’t want people to have to choose between heat and water, we want them to have both,” she said.
There are a few challenges to making the goal this year.
One is that Hugo’s will not be having bell ringers this season. The Salvation Army also is currently looking for more volunteers at the Walmart location, which takes place outside.
Mitch said groups who have rung in the past include civic organizations, and school, business and other volunteer groups.
“It’s a way you could volunteer. It’s something you could give back and it doesn’t cost anything but your time,” Mitch said.
Because the Brectos received hot chocolate when they rang bells in Chicago, they said they will pay the gesture forward and provide hot chocolate for bell ringers at Walmart.
“Hopefully we’ll find some brave souls that want to work out there,” Mitch said.
Teresa said volunteers could sign up for as little as a half an hour outside and do it as a group.
The Salvation Army is also getting under way its Angel Tree program and is still looking for families to provide gifts. The same goes for its Christmas food basket program.
Those interested in volunteering and signing up for services can call the Salvation Army at 252-0290 or stop in from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday.
“I always look forward to Christmas and the ringing of the bell,” Mitch said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org