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Red Kettle Campaign successful

The final tally for Pike County’s 2008 Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign are in and they are the best ever recorded for the county.

“Red Kettle contributions were up 40 percent from last year and we are very excited about that,” said Kim May, director of the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center and Thrift Store in Troy. “Our total for 2008 was $22,467.18 and that will allow us to do more for the people of Pike County in these very difficult economic times.”

May said she is always amazed at the generosity of the people of Pike County but especially this year.

“I think Red Kettle donations were up this year for several reasons,” she said. “All of our bell ringers were volunteers so we didn’t have to pay anyone to ring. All of the money donated will go to help people in need. And, too, I think people are becoming more aware of all the good that the Salvation Army does to help people and the help goes to people in the local area who are friends and neighbors.”

Doc Kirby, who is a member of the local Salvation Army advisory board, said he believes that people realize what difficult times these are and are more generous in their giving.

“Even those who are in need are willing to pitch in and help because they can look around and see others whose needs are greater,” he said.

The funds that are raised through the Red Kettle campaign go a long way in helping people with emergency and temporary needs.

“At this time of year, we have many requests for assistance with utility and medical bills,” May said. “We also have people who need food and clothing. We have a lot of requests and we’re not always able to meet those needs.”

May said each request for assistance is carefully screened and not all request are valid.

Donations from individuals and groups, assistance from the Pike County United Way and sales from the Thrift Store in Troy provide additional funds for the Salvation Army’s operation. “The Red Kettle campaign is our only fundraiser so these additional funds are very much needed and appreciated,” she said.