TAYLOR COUNTY—The Grafton Salvation Army is known as an organization that is there to help individuals in the community in their time of need. Now the organization that helps so many people, is asking for some assistance.
Each year, the Salvation Army launches their Red Kettle Campaign, an initiative to collect funds that will be used to help the needy within the community. Before long, residents and guests in the Grafton area will begin seeing the iconic red buckets around town.
Captain Denise Stewart shared that the local branch of the army depends solely on the community’s support in order to obtain the funding necessary to operate each year.
“The money collected through the kettles during the holiday season makes up about 90 to 95 percent of our annual budget,” she revealed. “So, that means that we really rely on the community to help us help others.”
Many residents may not be aware, but the funds collected during the annual campaign are not used for just Christmas, but rather all year long to fund various activities.
They shared that the money collected each holiday season during the Red Kettle Campaign is used to supply Thanksgiving meals for less fortunate families, assisting with Christmas and the organization’s other yearly operations including winter relief.
Winter relief is program that provides assistance with utility bills during the colder months, including gas, water and electric bills.
In essence, the Red Kettle Campaign provides the lifeblood of the local branch of the Salvation Army, so the Grafton Salvation Army is already looking for volunteers to help with this year’s campaign.
“This is the perfect opportunity for groups, clubs, organizations or individuals to strengthen their bonds with the community through volunteerism,” Stewart voiced.
According to Stewart, there is no age requirement for bell ringers, as long as children are accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age or older.
“This would be a great community service project for 4-H groups or school organizations and clubs,” she shared. “Having bell ringers is essential to the success of the fundraiser.”
Those interested in becoming bell ringers may pick up an application at the Grafton Salvation Army, located at 111 Beech Street, Monday through Thursday, from noon until 4:00 p.m.
“The kettle season starts November 1, but it takes time to process the applications,” Stewart revealed. “This job ends on Christmas Eve, and having volunteers step forward to help is crucial for the campaign’s success.”
For more information on the program, or to obtain a list of available dates and times, please call the Salvation Army at 304-265-3565 or 443-903-6142.
“This community has always been outstanding at helping us out, and we are once again putting our faith out there that they will come through again this year,” Stewart expressed. “As well as for many years to come, so that we may continue with our mission to help those in need.”