Kettle campaign counting on generosity

Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, November 19, 2008

As the Salvation Army readies its annual Red Kettle Campaign, Kim May is counting on the generosity of Pike Countians to support their neighbors in need.

“The people of Pike County have always been very generous in their giving and the response to the call for bell ringers has been very good,” said May, director of the Salvation Army Thrift Shop and Service Center in Troy. “Last year was the first year that all of our bell ringers were volunteers. The Red Kettle campaign raised $17,600 and there were no expenses. So,100 percent of the donations helped people right here at home.”

The 2009 Pike County Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign will officially kickoff of Saturday at the Wal-Mart Super Center in Troy. The Salvation Army bells will be ringing from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday at Wal-Mart and from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at Southern Family Market, Pic’n Sav and Walgreens in Troy and Piggly Wiggly in Troy and Brundidge. The 2009 Red Kettle Campaign will end on Dec. 24.

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“We are so appreciative of the many individuals and organizations that have volunteered to be bell ringers,” May said. “Having volunteer bell ringers means that there will be more money available to assist friends and neighbors in need.”

As of Wednesday, volunteers for the 2009 Pike County Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign included the Troy Exchange Club, Brundidge Rotary Club, Tri-Omega, Twenty-One Club, Twilighters, the JROTC at Goshen and Charles Henderson high schools, the Air Force and Army ROTCs, the Greeks and Circle K at Troy University, the Youth Ministry at First United Methodist Church in Troy, the seven-year-old Sunday school class at Dorcas Baptist Church, Troy Group Home, WTBF, Colley Senior Complex, 4-H’ers and the National Guard Armories in Brundidge and Troy.

“Several of the banks will let us place paper kettles in their lobbies,” May said. “Troy Bank & Trust, the Army Aviation Credit Union, Colonial Bank and First National Bank are participating and hopefully other banks will, too. We also have individuals who will ring. Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford and Troy City Councilman Charlie Dunn will be bell ringers and we invite others to join them because we have a few slots that have not been filled.”

May said times are difficult for many right now and the requests for assistance are increasing.

“The rising costs of utilities and food have hit a lot of people really hard, especially the elderly who are living on fixed incomes,” she said. “The cost of prescribed medications also makes it hard for many to make ends meet. The Salvation Army assists with many temporary needs for those who are going through difficult times. We assist in disaster situations, including fires, and in times of family crisis, such as the loss of jobs, illnesses and deaths.”

Last year alone, the Salvation Army Service Center in Troy assisted 576 families and individuals with temporary needs.

Individuals must qualify through an application process.