Salvation Army kettle campaign ends Christmas Eve

Salvation Army kettle campaign ends Christmas Eve

At this time of year as shoppers wander in and out of stores, looking for the perfect gift for their loved one, it is easy to drown out the monotony of those bells. You know exactly the ones. They are usually attached to the hand of someone bundled up in their warmest Ohio clothes, standing next to a bright red kettle outside of your favorite box store waiting to collect your spare change. Those red kettles, provided for 130 years now by the Salvation Army, go up each year to mark the beginning of the holiday season, and the bells continue ringing through Christmas Eve, in the hope nobody will go hungry on Christmas.

There are seven stores in Wooster set up with a red kettle, marked prominently with bell ringers now through Christmas Eve in an effort to reach the 2021 local Salvation Army goal of collecting $80,000 through the holiday campaign.

“Our goal is $80,000, and we are very confident that we will reach that goal,” Wooster Salvation Army Majs. Timothy and Constance Higgins said. “The money raised from our Christmas kettle effort helps to fund our homeless shelter. Also during the cold-weather months, the Salvation Army, in cooperation with other organizations and churches, operates the Severe Weather Shelter out of the Salvation Army building. The funds also help fund the ongoing expenses of the Salvation Army year round.”

Kettles are set up in these Wooster stores: Buehler’s Towne Market, Buehler’s Milltown, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Rural King, Save-A-Lot, Tractor Supply and Pine Tree Barn. The Higgins said three of those stores are utilized more during weekdays, but all seven are open during store operating hours on weekends.

Without the support from the local community year after year, the outlook for Wooster’s less fortunate would not be as bright because the Salvation Army would not be able to provide what they can without the area’s support during campaigns such as the Red Kettle Drive.

Although the Salvation Army is an international organization, funds raised locally provide assistance in Wooster. The kettle program raises about 10% of the organization’s budget, the Higgins said, and is its largest fundraiser.

“The support that the Salvation Army receives form this community is greatly appreciated, both in volunteers and in funds,” the majors said. “We wouldn’t be able to continue or increase the level of service if we didn’t have the support of this community.”