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Editorial: ‘Tis the season to give with a merry heart

‘Tis the season to be jolly — and to keep a little cash in your pocket for the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign.

The Salvation Army in Jamestown has set a goal of $147,000 for its chief fundraising campaign this year, which will go to all sorts of programs that benefit the Jamestown area community — the food pantry, emergency lodging, gas assistance, bus and clothing vouchers, prescription assistance and rental and utility assistance.

Fewer and fewer people are keeping cash on hand in these days of check cards and omnipresent ATMs, so it’s especially important to be a little bit more intentional about it if you’re interested in donating.

Dropping your small change in the kettles you pass will help the campaign, but there are other ways to assist, too.

Some businesses and individuals agree to match kettle donations, either by site or up to a particular dollar amount.

Some businesses agree to set up miniature counter kettles near their cash register, or sell “add-a-dollar” paper kettles.

People can also simply mail a check to the Salvation Army, or call 252-0290 to inquire about other donation methods.

The kettles are actually a time-honored tradition that dates to December 1891, when a Salvation Army captain decided to provide free Christmas dinners to San Francisco’s poor people.

He remembered a large pot set out for charitable donations in Liverpool, England, and decided to try the same thing in San Francisco. It worked so well the idea began spreading across America, and then to points further abroad — Japan, Chile and Europe, too.

In Jamestown, kettles can be found at Park Plaza Mall, near Coborn’s Grocery, and at the Buffalo Mall near Home of Economy, as well as Walmart and the Buffalo Mall’s Sears entrance.

So keep a bit of cash in your pockets this Christmas season, remember those less fortunate and give with a merry heart, keeping Christmas well.

(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)