- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Though there are some already on the schedule, more volunteers are needed to help make this year's Salvation Army red kettle drive a success.
Kathleen Fletcher, welfare chair for the local Salvation Army chapter, said Taylor Countians have helped man a drive in the community for more than 20 years. And this year is no exception.
Fletcher said the bells will begin ringing on Friday, just in time for the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. And volunteers are needed for this weekend, and the several others to follow.
"Our big focus is the weekend," she said.
But that doesn't mean time slots aren't available during the week. She said she is thrilled to have volunteers pledge their time to ring the bell any time during the week or weekend.
"Because this is our only fundraiser," Fletcher said.
Typical bell ringing hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The drive will have locations at Walmart, Kroger in Green River Plaza and Tractor Supply.
When there is no volunteer for a particular time of day, Fletcher said, the kettle might be standing by itself.
The kettle drive will continue through the Christmas holiday.
"If I have somebody volunteer for Christmas Eve, we will ring the bell on Christmas Eve," Fletcher said.
Fletcher said she doesn't know the exact amount of how much money was raised during last year's drive, but knows it didn't hit the $10,000 mark.
She said it's important that residents know all the money donated at the red kettles in Taylor County will benefit Taylor County's residents.
"Which is a major plus," she said.
Fletcher said the local Salvation Army chapter works closely with Taylor County Crisis Relief officials to select those who will receive the money donated in the red kettle drive.
She said crisis relief officials help residents pay their utility bills, rent and for other essential items.
"Keeping a roof over their head," Fletcher said. "I'd rather pay their first month's rent."
Fletcher said the local Salvation Army chapter recently helped a local woman who is paralyzed and had no way out of her home to get to doctor's appointments. She said Salvation Army funds were used to help build the woman a ramp.
Money collected has also been used to help families who have lost their belongings in fire and other disasters.
Fletcher said she wants to thank those who have donated money to the red kettle drive or have volunteered to ring the bell.
"People are very generous with Salvation Army," she said. "I'm grateful people acknowledge Salvation Army is a good place to give back."
And though there are still several time slots available for volunteers to ring the bell during this year's red kettle drives, some have already pledged their shifts. Those wanting to sign up can call Fletcher at 469-6298.
"I've got several more spots," she said.
Fletcher said children can ring the bell, as long as they do so with an adult. She said she has received several calls from parents asking to bring along their child to teach them about giving back to their community.
Taylor County residents typically step up each year and fill in when there is no one scheduled to ring the bell, she said.
If someone is ringing the Salvation Army bell, Fletcher said, passersby are much more likely to donate money.
"You just can't believe the difference," she said.
According to the Salvation Army website, www.salvationarmyusa.org, red kettles have been used since 1891 to help raise money for its programs and services.
Those who don't want to donate at the kettles in Campbellsville can now do so online. Kettle campaigns can now be begun online at www.onlineredkettle.org and residents can also donate at that address.
Over the years, according to the Salvation Army, the red kettle campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable campaigns in the United States and helps provide toys for children, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and many social service programs year-round.
This year's national goal is to raise $3 million. At press time, $207,860, or 7 percent of that goal, had been raised.