Salvation Army gearing up for kettle run

Published 6:06 am Saturday, November 23, 2019

In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit.

The local Salvation Army helps on average 300 financially struggling families in Mower County monthly through a variety of programs, with Food Shelf being the highest need.

The Kettle Kickoff is coming up quickly and will be held on Friday, Nov. 29, during Christmas in the City in downtown Austin.

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The Austin Salvation Army will be downtown with the disaster/emergency relief canteen handing out hot chocolate. There will also be a bell-ringer at a kettle stand which will be across from Santa.

This year the Salvation Army will be putting out seven kettle stands (Jim’s SuperValu, Sterling Main Street, Runnings, Hy-Vee, Walmart Main, Walmart Deli, and Hobby Lobby). The hours of bell ringing are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., for two-hour time slots. There are a total of 1,594 hours to fill and so far there have been 500 hours reserved.

The goal for the kettle campaign is to get 98 percent of our bell ringing hours filled by volunteers. In turn, the Salvation Army is challenging the community to help it reach this goal by calling out to your family, friends and service groups, then signing on for a two-hour time slot. Studies have shown that for every two-hours a volunteer rings at a kettle, they average $65 in donations. If the Salvation Army is unable to fill our kettle sites with volunteers, they are forced to hire someone to ring at each kettle, which is counterproductive.

This year there is a new way that donors can give. If you have either Google Pay or Apple Pay installed on your cell phone, you can go up to any of the seven kettle stands, scan the barcode on the kettle sign with your phone, take a quick minute to fill in the proper information on the app, hit send and just like that, you have made a donation to the kettle campaign.