Salvation Army bell ringer Naomi Jones greets shoppers at the downtown Food City. Photo by Ned Jilton II.
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.
It’s the one time of year when the agency raises the most dollars for operations and services it provides throughout the year, officials have said in the past. Typically, what is donated at Christmas will keep the Army’s local efforts going through early summer.
The Salvation Army of Kingsport’s annual Red Kettle Campaign nearly reached its goal by Christmas.
This year’s target was $120,000 — scaled down by $14,000 due to the week-shorter shopping season this year compared to last. And the campaign, which officially drew to a close on Christmas Eve, raised $118,300.
“We came in $1,700 under our goal of $120,000,” said Heather Hudson, Salvation Army shelter director and Red Kettle Campaign coordinator for 2013. “The campaign, as far as bell ringers being out, is officially over. But we can continue to accept donations earmarked for the Red Kettle Campaign at our office. We of course accept donations every day of the year.”
The Kingsport Salvation Army, located at 505 Dale St., provides Christmas assistance to residents of Sullivan, Hawkins, Scott, Lee and Wise counties. For more information, call the Salvation Army of Kingsport at 246-6671.