Bells begin ringing Friday for Salvation ArmyWith the need for assistance growing in the area, the Salvation Army has upped its Kettle Campaign goal by $28,000 even though the church fell short of last year’s goal.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
With the need for assistance growing in the area, the Salvation Army has upped its Kettle Campaign goal by $28,000 even though the church fell short of last year’s goal.
The goal for the 2012 holiday season is $146,000, up from $118,000 last year. The bells will start ringing on Friday.
“We had to raise our goal, bump it up some more due to the demand we’ve been seeing and assistance items, everything from the food pantry to rental assistance,” said Lt. Mitch Brecto.
The Kettle Campaign is the Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Money raised in the various kettles around town will go to cover programs throughout the year.
The Salvation Army saw increases this year for assistance programs across the board, from food, bill pay assistance and travel assistance.
As of Tuesday 418 hours of bell ringing were already scheduled with more than 1,300 still available.
“When you volunteer, you help us reach out to the truly needy in this area while you make a difference in this world,” Brecto said.
So far a number of groups have already been slated to donate their time.
The Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs are signed up, as well as RSVP+, St. John’s Lutheran Church and others.
“The reason to become involved in it is because part of what our mission statement is and our mission statement is to help those less fortunate,” said Tom Geffre, chaplain at Ave Maria Village.
Ave Maria will have about a dozen residents with staff members ringing bells Friday around Jamestown.
People can sign up to ring the bell at the Salvation Army office by calling 252-0290, or new this year online at www.salvationarmynorth. org/jamestown.
This year in Jamestown, Brecto is looking for businesses, organizations or individuals to match kettle donations. Donations can be matched per kettle, per day or for a time period.
“When a person matches it spurs more giving,” he said. “I have donors that look for a match because they get more for what they donate.”
Donors can be anonymous, or can have a sign indicating their matching donations.
“By helping us to raise our goal, you are allowing the bell to ring all year for people in need in Stutsman County,” Brecto said.
The Salvation Army is also looking for businesses that will allow miniature kettles, or counter kettles. Brecto has 30 available.
The Kettle Campaign starts Friday with kettles at Kmart, Coborn’s and Sears. On Nov. 23 there will be two kettles at Walmart and one at JCPenney. It will run through Dec. 24.
“We’re hopeful we’ll raise our goal and we know the community of Jamestown is generous and we thank them for the support,” Brecto said.
The Salvation Army is also accepting applicants for the Angel Tree program through Dec. 7.
The program involves community members buying gifts for children newborn to 17 who are still in school and residents of Stutsman County.
To apply a parent must come into the Salvation Army offices between 10 a.m. and noon or 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Parents need a valid form of identification and a valid form for their child, which could be a Social Security or medical card.
At the same time families can apply for holiday food baskets. Cargill is working with the Salvation Army and hopes to supply baskets for 110 families and 40 individuals.
People do not need to apply for the Angel Tree to receive a food basket.
Last year 127 families applied for the Angel Tree program. Currently 66 are signed up, which is an increase in demand from this time last year, said Lt. Teresa Brecto.
One suggestion for Angel Tree gifts the Salvation Army had was board games as gifts, which encourage family time.
This is also the busiest season for the food pantry, which some businesses are donating to as part of a competition.
Brecto understands not everyone may be able to donate toys, food or to the kettles, but bell ringers are always welcome.
“If they’re unable to donate food they could ring a bell or just get the word out about what the Salvation Army does,” he said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org