One last push to see red

One last push to see red

When Salvation Army Capt. Joseph McPhee was so distraught 130 years ago that he lie awake trying to come up with a way to feed the many homeless on Christmas, the thought most definitely didn’t cross his mind that all these years later such a powerful idea would still be going strong.

But McPhee thought of something that stuck, and the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign has become one of the most well-known philanthropy projects across the world, including in Orrville.

“Our bell ringing season is a wonderful time for the community to come together for a common cause — to meet local needs right here in our communities,” said Bethany Fuller, director of the Salvation Army Orrville-Maiwurm Service Center. “We are excited to see where our red kettle season will take us this year. We have young and old taking the bells in hand, smiling a hello and serving.”

Through Christmas Eve, the Orrville Salvation Army has six large kettle bell-ringing locations set up at Buehler’s Orrville, Marshallville Meats, P. Graham Dunn, Lehman’s Hardware, Kidron Town & Country and Dutch Kitchen Restaurant. There also are more than 40 small countertop red kettle locations throughout Orrville, Dalton, Kidron and Marshallville, Fuller said, in hopes of reaching a $27,000 goal.

“We are having a slow start this year, but this community is extremely generous, and we are grateful for all volunteers who have given of their precious time to ring the bell,” Fuller said. “We are also grateful to all who have slipped in $1, a quarter, $10 or $100 to the red bucket. We are entering the home stretch, so if you can spare time to ring or help us out with a donation, your neighbor will appreciate it.”

With the funds that are raised, the Salvation Army Orrville-Maiwurm Service Center works to serve those in need in five different communities including Orrville, Dalton, Kidron, Marshallville and North Lawrence, Fuller said. The Red Kettle Campaign is the nonprofit organization’s single largest fundraiser and supports people right here in the community.

“The money raised during red kettle season provides help for people in need of food, folks facing a utility disconnection, people needing rental help, as well as others who need medical transportation, prescription assistance or clothing vouchers,” Fuller said. “We also provide miscellaneous assistance based on need.”

The Orrville-Maiwurm Service Center is currently preparing for its annual Christmas Food Box Angel Tree distribution. These Christmas programs, Fuller said, are a combined project with the community to help those in need at this special time of year. About 340 food boxes and more than 1,000 gifts will go out to families living in the communities the service center assists.

Anyone interested in helping with the last days of the Red Kettle Campaign, either by ringing bells or making a donation, should call the service center at 330-683-3138.