Familiar ringing is a sign of giving
November 21, 2011
Holiday tunes can be heard in area stores and the twinkling lights of the season now can be seen along most streets. That means it also is time for the sound of bells ringing. Salvation Army officials in Salem have kicked off the annual kettle campaign and there's an increased need this year. On Sunday we detailed the "Five Mill Penny Fill" project for that huge and familiar Salvation Army kettle. The kettle will be located at various locations in the city throughout the holiday season, ending on Christmas Eve. Proceeds will be used to help the 200 families with nearly 500 children who are participating in the Salvation Army’s Christmas effort this year, which provides food, toys and clothing to poor or impoverished families in the area. The kettle drive generated approximately $80,000 last year and the organization is looking to raise even more this time around, introducing its “Five Mill Penny Fill” in which the hope is to fill the kettle with 5 million pennies. This is the season for so many fund-raising events deserving of your charity. There is none better than the Salvation Army kettle drive. Every penny, nickel and dime dropped into a Salvation Army kettle helps to provide food, warm-weather clothing and toys for those less fortunate and aids the area's needy with home heating and prescription bills. The accent is on area too because money raised helps people right here in our own community. But funding from kettle campaigns is limited without the donation of time and money from the public. Let's not forget that many of our area Salvation Army units will be in need of volunteers this year to staff those kettles. Traditionally, many local organization and service group members and church congregations have volunteered their time to ring the bells and oversee kettle donations at various locations. But membership in those organizations and service groups has decreased, meaning less volunteers are available for the holiday kettle drives each year. Fewer volunteers at fewer kettles adds up to fewer dollars to help support the needy. For our local Salvation Army units, the holiday kettle drive is the biggest fundraiser of the year, and, again, it's important to note that the money collected here stays here. Keep that in mind as this year's Salvation Army and the holiday shopping season gets into full swing. We're asking area residents to drop some extra change into local kettles in the coming days or volunteer to spend a few hours ringing the bell. It's one of the best Christmas gifts you can offer.