Salvation Army raises $40,000

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In a year that the Salvation Army expected the nationwide contributions to its annual Red Kettle fundraising campaign to be down $20 million, the people of the Pike County area stepped up and made this a banner year for the Pike County Salvation Army.

Kim May, director of the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center, said she was surprised, actually overwhelmed, by the response to this year’s Red Kettle Campaign.

“The Pike County Salvation Army was blessed, so blessed,” May said. “We were aware that, nationwide, contributions would be down but we were hopeful. The people of Pike County and the surrounding area have always been so generous in their giving that we had reason to hope for a good year. But we were greatly blessed and we can’t say thank you enough for the support of our communities.”

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The total donations to the Pike County Salvation Army’s 2013 Red Kettle campaign were $41,051.67.

“That’s a 24 percent increase over last year’s total and that’s just almost unbelievable,” May said. “It just shows that our people care about their friends and neighbors and give generously. And, what is so amazing is that this year’s Red Kettle Campaign was five days shorter than last year’s because of Thanksgiving coming so late. I just can’t say enough good things about the people of the Pike County area.”

May said the Pike County Salvation Army will be able to assist more people this year because of the increase in donations.

“We have elderly people who need assistance with heating during the winter months and so many people are still out of work and there’s a lot of sickness,” May said. “The needs are great.”

The money donated through the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle fundraising campaign will help people right here in Pike County.

“The money that is donated to the Pike County Salvation Army stays right here at home to help those in our community,” May said. “The administrative costs for the Salvation Army are very low. The money donated goes to help others.”

May expressed appreciation to the more than 200 bell ringers who volunteered their time to this year’s Red Kettle campaign.

“We don’t pay our bell ringers so all of the money goes to help those in need,” she said. “Our volunteers are a big reason for our successful 2013 fundraising campaign.”

May singled out Johnny Locklar as the most dedicated bell ringer, year in and year out.

“For several years, Johnny has been ringing our bells,” May said. “He doesn’t drive but he is always ready and willing to take shift after shift and he’ll stay as long as he’s needed. If someone is unable to take their shift, we know we can count on Johnny to fill that slot. He is dependable and he is dedicated. We thank him and everyone who rang the bell for us.”

The Brundidge Rotary Club rings the bell at Brundidge Piggly Wiggly each year and May said that she can always count on the Rotarians.

“Hopefully, they know how much they are appreciated.”

May also expressed appreciation to Donna McLaney, the Pike County Red Kettle coordinator.

“Donna does everything from checking on all the kettles to doing paperwork,” May said. “She does all the things that I would have to do if she didn’t. I couldn’t do it without Donna.

“And none of this would have been possible if we did not have locations where we could ring the bells,” she said. “Walmart, Food World and Piggly Wiggly 231 in Troy and Piggly Wiggly Brundidge all graciously allowed us to ring the Salvation Army bells at their locations. We are forever grateful to them.”

May also expressed appreciation to Food Depot and Raimey’s in Luverne and Eufaula Walmart SuperCenter.

“They allowed us to ring bells at their locations and the money donated at those locations contributed to the success of our 2013 Red Kettle campaign,” she said. “And most of all, we thank everyone who drop dimes and dollars in the Red Kettles. They are the real success of our fundraising campaign.”