Army counts on the kettles

Published 8:46 am Thursday, November 22, 2012

Holiday drive ups its goal to $60K

No, that’s not just an incessant ringing in your ears. It’s the Salvation Army’s annual holiday kettle drive, which kicked off in Austin on Thursday, Nov. 15.

And this year, Salvation Army volunteers and employees are hoping more people will hear that jingle and act upon it.

“We are seeing way more of a need,” said Kris Maier, Salvation Army volunteer and special events coordinator in Austin.

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Maier and Lt. David Amick said the need for food, prescription drugs, utilities and housing assistance has increased. Furthermore, the local homeless situation is stretching the Salvation Army budget, as people are starting to abuse the privilege of that resource. The Salvation Army lodges homeless at a local motel for up to three nights; however, Amick suspects some aren’t being as honest about their situations.

Because of those reasons, the Salvation Army is aiming for $60,000 from its kettle drive this year, up from the $45,000 goal last year. In 2011, the drive surpassed the goal and raised $56,500 and helped bring the overall fundraising for Austin’s Salvation Army to $139,000. For total fundraising, the Salvation Army hopes for $150,000 for next year’s budget.

One incentive that may help is called “Match the Kettle.” Businesses, churches and other buildings that have kettles in front of their stores are encouraged to match the total donations inside that kettle for that day. Businesses can contact the Salvation Army and pick any day to match a donation. Then, each participating business’ name will be broadcast on KAUS radio.

As always, the Salvation Army needs more volunteers, too. Those who want to volunteer may contact Maier at 507-437-4566.


By the numbers

$60,000 — 2012 kettle goal

$56,500 — Money raised in 2011 through kettles

$150,000 — Overall 2012 Salvation Army campaign goal

$139,000 — Overall Salvation Army campaign totals in 2011