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Jamestown Salvation Army to kick off Red Kettle Campaign

The goal is to raise $167,000.

The Salvation Army in Jamestown officially kicks off its annual Red Kettle Campaign on Monday, Nov. 15, at Harold Newman Arena. Bell ringing will begin Tuesday, Nov. 16, with a goal to raise $167,000.

“We wanted to be conservative with our amount that we said we would raise this year just being aware again that we’re still dealing with COVID,” said Maj. Judy Lowder, corps officer, executive director and pastor of the Jamestown church.

Last year, the Salvation Army set a $152,000 goal and exceeded that by $50,000, she said. Sean Johnson, chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, noted that even with some of the restrictions due to COVID in 2020, it was an “amazing year” for the campaign and speaks to the generosity of Jamestown.

“It’s one of the great things about living here is we do watch out for our own and we do take care of our own, and one of the best ways to do that is ringing the bell,” Johnson said, and donating to the campaign.

“It’s just as exciting when I get a 5-year-old kid that throws in two quarters, 10 pennies and a couple of dimes as it is somebody that throws out a 20 dollar bill,” Johnson said. That donation means a lot to that child, he said.

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The funds raised not only help people during Christmas but all year long with programs and services, Lowder said. Along with the food pantry, the Salvation Army also offers rent, deposit, utility and prescription assistance, hygiene, baby and pet pantries and other programs.

People come every day to the Salvation Army for food, Lowder said. She said on average, 48 to 70 households are receiving help each month.

“We’re seeing an average of 20 to 25 households each month that are new, that have never come to us before for services needing help with that now,” she said.

Most needs are for food, hygiene items and rent and utility assistance, she said.

“I think there’s always a need,” Johnson said. “I think we have to remember even though there’s a lot of prosperity in our state ... prosperity in our community, there’s also a lot of folks (that) are in need. I don’t think there’s any question about that.”

The campaign runs through Dec. 24. If the campaign goal is not met, the Salvation Army would have to consider cuts to services, Lowder said.

Ringing the bell

Volunteers will ring the bell at four sites, Lowder said. They will be indoors at Cash Wise Foods, the Jamestown Business Center and Home of Economy and outside at Walmart. The bell-ringing begins on Nov. 16 at the indoor locations and on Nov. 20 at Walmart.

Lowder said people may register to ring the bell at registertoring.com or call her at 701-252-0290 or 701-269-3930 to schedule a day and time.

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“That ringing the bell truly does make a difference in that when you don’t see someone at that location, that means money is not coming in,” she said. “And so even if you can just (ring) 2 hours, that can make a world of difference for our campaign.”

Lowder said some service clubs are expected to help this year, holding a “friendly competition” to see which one raises the most money.

There are 1,203 volunteer hours to fill to ring the bell and 116 have been taken so far, Lowder said. Bell ringing is done at all of the locations from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except two of the sites end at 6 p.m. Saturday, she said. No ringing will occur on Thanksgiving.

The money raised stays in Jamestown and administrative costs are low, Johnson said.

“And I think you see the impact that the Salvation Army makes in our community. The great job that Maj. Lowder does. It’s really important,” Johnson said.

People wanting to donate can also give online or respond to the mail appeal that goes out starting Dec. 1, Lowder said. To donate online, go to https://bit.ly/3EZD5wK

Christmas assistance

This week the Salvation Army was in its fifth and final week for applications for Christmas assistance. That includes clothing and toys for children and vouchers for a Christmas dinner.

“Right now it looks like it will be ahead,” Lowder said of the number of families seeking help with Christmas gifts for children.

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The gift distribution for children is by appointment from Dec. 20-22 for those who filled out applications.

The voucher for a Christmas dinner is not limited to families but adults who may also need the help, she said. The vouchers will be distributed Dec. 16-17 and will be used to purchase items for a Christmas dinner at Cash Wise Foods.

Angel Tree tags are available at a number of locations to help purchase gifts for children at Christmas. Each tag has the size for a child’s clothing and the child’s top three toy wishes. Tags went to Ameriprise Financial, BluFrog Realty, Buffalo Mall (Nov. 16), Candyman, Century 21, Gate City Bank, Innovative Business, Pingree-Buchanan School, Premium Property, Stutsman Harley-Davidson, Two Rivers Activity Center, Vivacious and Walmart.

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If you go

What: Salvation Army Kettle Kick-off, hosted by the Salvation Army Advisory Board and Maj. Judy Lowder

When: noon, open to the public

Where: Harold Newman Arena, 1004 7th St. NE

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