Kettle effort short of goalWith less than a week left before Christmas, the Salvation Army is still well short of its goal for this year’s Kettle Campaign. Lt. Mitch Brecto said he hopes there will be a push big enough to raise the $67,000 more for helping people in Jamestown and Stutsman County. “I know this last week is a busy week and we see a lot of last-minute donations,” Brecto said. “So hopefully we can reach our goal and continue with the level of service that’s needed.”
By: By Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
With less than a week left before Christmas, the Salvation Army is still well short of its goal for this year’s Kettle Campaign.
Lt. Mitch Brecto said he hopes there will be a push big enough to raise the $67,000 more for helping people in Jamestown and Stutsman County.
“I know this last week is a busy week and we see a lot of last-minute donations,” Brecto said. “So hopefully we can reach our goal and continue with the level of service that’s needed.”
This year’s Kettle Campaign goal is $146,000. So far the kettles have pulled in $39,000 and mail and other donations have brought in $40,000.
The money raised will help the Salvation Army throughout the year with bill pay and rental assistance, the food pantry, other programs and even utilities at the church.
“Since the beginning of this year we have helped 250 people considered homeless or on the edge of being homeless,” Brecto said.
All though more and more people seldom carry cash, Brecto said it shouldn’t have an impact with other ways the Salvation Army makes donating possible.
The kettles at Kmart, Walmart, Sears, Coburn’s, JCPenney and Hugo’s have signs notifying people they can donate $10 by texting “Blessing” to 85944. People can also donate with a credit card online at www.salvationarmynorth.
So far a number of service groups and businesses have chipped in with ringing bells, but there are still more than 200 hours open for volunteers to fill.
“We’ve had a good response,” Brecto said of bell ringers. “I think it’s been down from last year. We had spots unfilled or I had to ring myself. I love ringing but if I’m out there it takes away from other things I can be doing.”
Brecto said the best method to sign up is to stop in at the Salvation Army at 320 First Ave. N.
Bell ringers will be at kettles until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, a time slot Brecto said is in really in need of volunteers.
“If somebody wants to be in the holiday spirit they can start a new tradition and ring bells on Christmas Eve,” he said.
Otherwise people can drop donations off at the office or via mail until Dec. 31.
Donations could increase if a kettle match was being offered, but so far only one person matched kettle donations this holiday season.
“We’re looking for individuals or companies that are willing to entertain a match because it will drive donations,” he said.
The goal for the Salvation Army’s other Christmas program was reached with 269 children in 114 families receiving gifts through the Angel Tree program.
“This year we were very blessed with so many people that helped with food and toy drives,” said Lt. Teresa Brecto.
Students and staff at Pingree-Buchanan High School were able to help with more than 70 gifts and First Community Credit Union also held a toy drive.
“We surpassed the goal, which was wonderful,” Lt Teresa said. “It shows the outpouring of love from the community.”
Cargill donated 130 food baskets to ensure every family receiving gifts also will be able to have a Christmas meal.
Parents also are able to pick up board games, to encourage family time, along with the gifts.
On Tuesday and today family members will come and pick up the gifts in black bag complete with the food basket and wrapping paper so parents can put the gifts under the tree for their children.
“It’s for the kids to receive but it’s for the joy of the parents to be able to put it under the tree and give them gifts,” she said of Angel Tree.
Teresa said now if that support can transfer over to the Kettle Campaign more people can get the help they need.
“If people didn’t give to the Angel Tree, they can give to the kettles this Christmas,” she said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org