Is standing in front of a store in the cold, ringing a bell, really worth it? Does it make a difference?


It did for the nearly 150 volunteers who rang a bell for the Salvation Army’s 2009 Red Kettle campaign this past Christmas season.


 


Is standing in front of a store in the cold, ringing a bell, really worth it? Does it make a difference?

It did for the nearly 150 volunteers who rang a bell for the Salvation Army’s 2009 Red Kettle campaign this past Christmas season.

Generous souls across Redwood County dropped a record $20,513.18 into the little red buckets last year.

Considering what the economy is like now, it is perhaps surprising that 2009’s record amount is over $5,000 higher than the previous record, set in 2008.

The highest earning kettle was in front of Wal-Mart, where volunteers collected $9,252.22 from patrons coming and going.

The second highest kettle was in the lobby of Tersteegs grocery store in Redwood Falls, where donors contributed $6,232.96.

Kettles were set up at four other Redwood County towns, and collected another $319.54.

Donations were also mailed to the Redwood County Salvation Army, adding another $4,708 to the mix.

Funds from the Red Kettle campaigns are used for a variety of causes across the county. 

Donations from 2008 were used last year to serve 1,015 people in ways including providing summer camp opportunities for several regional kids, and for  lodging, groceries, utilities, transportation, diapers, etc. for needy people in Redwood County. 

Redwood County Campaign Coordinator Roald Haugan expressed his, “thanks (to) the  thousands of individuals and organizations that contributed  to make this year's campaign a great success.  

“Special thanks to the  nearly 150  individuals who braved the cold weather serving  as Bell Ringers at Wal=Mart and Tersteegs.   

“Special  thanks, too,  to Ken Harmon who handled the last nine days of  the campaign.”

The Red Kettle campaign, first started in San Francisco in 1891, has always been one of the Salvation Army’s greatest fund-raisers.