Kingsport Times News Thursday, November 27, 2014

Community

Salvation Army may extend Kettle Campaign

December 21st, 2011 9:24 pm by J. H. Osborne

KINGSPORT — The Salvation Army needs your help, come rain or come shine — and the agency helps feed and shelter those it serves 365 days a year.


It pays for much of that year-round assistance with funds generated each Christmas season by its Kettle Campaign, when bell ringers collect donations from shoppers at local businesses.


But just three days before the campaign’s traditional end, on Christmas Eve, donations are $30,000 below last year at the same point.


That’s a significant drop, which could severely impact the work the Salvation Army of Kingsport does in the community for the next 12 months.


It’s such a serious matter that Army officials are considering extending the bell ringing past Christmas, to New Year’s, if local retailers will let them stay.


“Need knows no season,” Salvation Army Maj. Anthony Baso said Wednesday. “The Kettle Campaign is very important. It’s the one time of year when we raise the most dollars for operations and services we provide year round. Typically, what we make at Christmas will keep us going through early summer.”


Baso said last year’s Kettle Campaign netted $155,000 for the Salvation Army of Kingsport.


Although total donations, to date, are about $30,000 below the total that had been generated at the same point in last year’s effort, Baso said he’s hoping the bottom line will not be so bleak.


When volunteers from the community ring bells and man kettles, the Salvation Army reaps a double benefit — the donations collected, and the labor provided free by the volunteers. When there aren’t enough volunteers to man the bells and kettles, the agency must instead hire workers.


Baso said individuals or groups who would like to volunteer to serve as bell ringers still have time to do so — especially for locations where kettles continue after Christmas and until New Year’s.


For more information call the Salvation Army of Kingsport at 246-6671.

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