Red Kettle Campaign kicks off

Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 27, 2014

For the 124th year, the sound of ringing bells will echo from convenience store fronts across the nation, and in Pike County.

Donna McClaney, assisting Kim May, director of Pike County’s hub for the Salvation Army, said the Red Kettle Campaign officially kicked off for Pike County Saturday, Nov. 15, and several local stores will be participating in this year’s campaign.

“We’ll start at Walmart on Friday, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving,” McClaney said. “We’ll be ringing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we’ll ring until 7 p.m. if we can get more volunteers.”

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The Red Kettle Campaign has served as a crucial fundraising period for the Salvation Army that typically takes place during the Holiday Season, but the money received is not only used during the Christmas and Thanksgiving season. Rather, the money is used all year long, McClaney said.

“The money goes back into the community for those that have needs for food, shelter housing, electricity, utilities and clothing items,” McClaney said. “We just try to help those in need.”

McClaney said the Salvation Army had generally received a generous amount of community support during the Red Kettle Campaign even with the Pike County location servicing four counties.

“We service Barbour, Crenshaw, Pike and Bullock Counties,” McClaney said. “Our service center is here in Troy at 504 South Brundidge St. We have a food back on site were we do hand out food several times a day to those who are in need…There’s always good community involvement. With the university being out this week, we don’t have any help from that area, but we always try to get church groups to help us.”

McClaney said the organization often sought the help of local churches or other organization who have been willing to lend a hand in the past.

“We ask just any club that would like to participate to come and help out,” McClaney said. “We have several clubs that have helped us out that have helped us out so far. It’s going well. It’s always slow when we first start. We always try to contact people who have helped in the past.”

McClaney said the Salvation Army was still actively seeking volunteers for this season’s Red Kettle Campaign. Those wanting to volunteer are asked to contact McClaney at 268-2553 or the Salvation Army at 808-1069.

The Salvation Army is a Christian non-profit organization that was established in London in 1865 and has been working in the United States without discrimination for the last 130 years. The Salvation Army, on an average, serves 30 million Americans each year by providing aid and assistance through a multitude of social services. An average of 82 cents per dollar received by the Salvation Army is put back into one of 5,000 communities across the United States.