Salvation Army to kick off kettle drivePublished 10:54am Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The jingle of Salvation Army bells will reverberate through the doorways and parking lots at several Austin businesses beginning this Thursday.
The Salvation Army’s annual kettle drive will kick off at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Mower County Government Center near the Veterans Services offices. Local Salvation Army reps say this year’s need for donations has again increased.
“We are seeing way more of a need,” said Kris Maier, Salvation Army volunteer and special events coordinator.
The Salvation Army’s resources across the board are being stretched thinner this year, including the food shelf, utilities, rental assistance, prescription drugs and lodging for homeless. Because of those factors, the organization is increasing its kettle drive goal from $45,000 last year to $60,000 this year. The drive ends on Christmas Eve.
In the past year, donors have answered the call as they gave $56,500 to last year’s kettle drive, which was about $16,000 more than 2010, as well. The organization also surpassed its overall campaign goal of $125,000 last year by raising $139,000. This year’s overall goal is now $150,000.
Bell ringers will be stationed at eight area retailers throughout the holiday drive, and 35 unmanned donation buckets will sit inside area businesses.
To raise awareness for the drive, the Salvation Army will get the help of the Austinaires singers and the local Shriners on Thursday. Lt. David Amick of the Austin Salvation Army said people may also not realize that it’s never too soon to volunteer. While people may not be into the holiday spirit just yet, the Salvation Army needs volunteers to sign up for its kettle drive and other operations in Austin.
To contact the Salvation Army, call 507-437-4566.
Sears taking food donations
This holiday season, Sears is taking a stand against hunger with a holiday food drive. Each Sears store will collect non-perishable food items through Dec. 29 and in return give each customer a coupon with their purchase.