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Kettle Campaign starts Wednesday: Salvation Army hopes to

Lt. Teresa Brecto, left, and Lt. Mitch Brecto, both of the Salvation Army in Jamestown, stand in front of the nonprofit’s red kettles. The kettles will be seen around town starting Nov. 13, to raise money for the Salvation Army during the holiday season. Charly Haley The Sun

With the holiday season just around the corner, the Salvation Army in Jamestown is dusting off its famous red kettles, in preparation for its biggest annual fundraiser.

This year’s Kettle Campaign goal is $147,000, which is $1,000 more than last year, said Lt. Mitch Brecto, of the Salvation Army.

“Because our needs are so great, we would have liked to make the goal bigger,” Brecto said, but it was a struggle to meet last year’s goal.

Money raised in the Kettle Campaign goes to the Salvation Army’s many programs, including rental and utility assistance, food pantry, prescription assistance, bus vouchers, clothing vouchers, gas assistance, emergency lodging, youth programs, disaster services and more.

With the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program being reduced nationwide recently, the Salvation Army expects a greater need for its food pantry this season, said Lt. Teresa Brecto of the Salvation Army.

The nonprofit’s grants are getting smaller almost every year, too, Mitch Brecto said. “We’re being forced to do more with less,” he said.

Starting Nov. 13, red kettles will be open for donations at Park Plaza Mall by Coborn’s Grocery and at the Buffalo Mall by Home of Economy.

Kettles will be added at Walmart and the Buffalo Mall Sears entrance, starting Nov. 29.

The last day for all kettles is Dec. 24. Donations can also be made by mail or directly to the Salvation Army office, Mitch Brecto said.

In addition to seeking monetary donations in the kettles, the Salvation Army partners with businesses or individual donors who agree to match kettle donations.

Some donors will volunteer to match a particular kettle site for a particular day, or others may match only up to a certain dollar amount, Teresa Brecto said.

Businesses can also help by having counter kettles – small red kettles near their cash registers, Mitch Brecto said. They can also sell “add-a-dollar” paper kettles, which customers buy to hang on the store’s wall.

The Salvation Army is also seeking volunteer bell-ringers to stand near the kettles and encourage donations. Ideally, the kettles will have volunteers Monday through Saturday throughout the campaign, Teresa Brecto said.

The Brectos also do a lot of bell ringing themselves each holiday season, to keep the kettles occupied when there aren’t volunteers available.

“That presence of a person there is so much more than having a kettle unmanned,” Teresa Brecto said.

Any individual or business interested in volunteering for, donating to or partnering with the Kettle Campaign can call the Salvation Army at 252-0290.

Although the Salvation Army almost didn’t meet its goal last year, Mitch Brecto said he’s confident this year’s goal will still be met, with the community’s help.

“It’s a challenge,” he said, “but we have faith that we’ll come through.”

Sun reporter Charly Haley can be reached at 701-952-8455

or by email at

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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