Bells are ringing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 1999

for those in need


Features Editor

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Nov. 16, 1999, 10 PM

The first bells of Christmas aren’t silver sleigh bells or choir bells. They are the bells of the Salvation Army reminding shoppers that it is, once again, time to remember those less fortunate.

"We do start our kettle campaign early, but this is the only time of the year that the Salvation Army is involved in a fundraiser," said Cindy Duke, director of the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center located on the square in Troy. "This is our fourth year of bell ringing in Troy and the people of our area have been so generous."

Last year, the kettle campaign raised $16,549 for the local Salvation Army.

"Money that is raised here in Pike County stays here in Pike County," Duke said. "It’s neighbor helping neighbor."

Duke said during the holidays there is something magical about the spirit of helping others.

"We all want to do something but sometimes we don’t know what to do and other times we just don’t have the time to do," she said. "But everyone can take a few seconds to drop a little money in our kettles. Any amount is very much needed and very much appreciated."

Duke said the goal for this year’s kettle campaign is $18,000.

"Last year we raised more than $16,000 but we provided $80,000 in services including food, clothing and emergency assistance," Duke said. "We want to stress that the Salvation Army is a hand up, not a hand out."

The Salvation Army is a United Way agency and additional financing comes from sales from its thrift stores and from donations.

The needs at Salvation Army thrift stores are also great at this time of year.

"Donations of clothing, furniture, odds-and-ends and accessories are always needed," Duke said. "We appreciate every item donated to our shop and even penny dropped in our kettle. The more you give, the more we can give and this is the season for joyful giving."

Duke said seasonal appeals are make to households via mail and, if those donations are turned in to the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center, that money, too, will stay here in Pike County.

"Again, the money collected here stays here and that is why the kettle campaign is so important," she said. "We appreciate Wal-Mart and Food World for allowing us to ring our bells at their stores. So, when you hear the bells ring, hopefully, you will respond in the true sense of the Christmas season."