Business and Economics

Salvation Army Ramps Up for Week of Giving

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December 19, 2013 — By Jerry Howard

Whether better to give or to receive, Lake County’s Salvation Army is doing both this week.  It’s giving a community invitation … for help with this year’s red kettle campaign.

The Salvation Army says donations to red kettles in Lake County are down by 30% compared to this time last year.  It says requests for food and assistance are greater than ever.

The Salvation Army’s iconic holiday season red kettles and their bell ringers have been collecting since November 8, with the goal of raising $940,000 locally to fund emergency and social services provided by the Salvation Army throughout the year.

It says that Lake County residents have given $410,000 to the local Red Kettle campaign so far this season, with more than $312,000 donated to the actual red kettles.  The remainder has been donated through the mail and online.

The Salvation Army in Lake County says it serves more than 11,000 people, provides more than 2,500 food baskets, 8,000 toys and more than 4,000 articles of clothing during every winter holiday season.

It says that Thanksgiving lateness in November left less of a giving season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so The Salvation Army is asking Lake County’s generous communities to help make up for lost time during the next week, “to prevent the charity from having to make any cuts the critical social services it provides to area people in need in the year ahead.”

Lake County Salvation Army Coordinator Rebecca Simmons says, “We are have seen a significant increase this year in the number of people turning to The Salvation Army for assistance, particularly as a result of families struggling with decreases in federal assistance benefits for food.  All across the community, we see evidence of our neighbors in need.  While the economy is slowly showing signs of improvement, that recovery has yet to trickle down to low-income families who are suffering the most.”

Salvation Army Advisory Board Chair and Munster Town Manager Tom DeGuilio says, “I’m so proud of the generosity of Lake County residents toward the red kettles every year.  We had anticipated that this would be a difficult year because of the shorter holiday season, but I know that we’re a community of people who care deeply about their neighbors in need, so I ask my fellow Lake County residents to join forces with me and give whatever you can to the red kettles.”

Red kettles will be taking donations in many places through December 24 with a few remaining until January 4.   The seasonal red kettles and their bell ringers are central to the Christmas season, integral to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.

The Salvation Army receives nearly 70%  of its yearly donations during the campaign.  The funds support Salvation Army neighbors in need throughout the entire year.  Funds raised will stay in the Lake County community.

It welcomes donations by mail, too, at:  The Salvation Army Lake County, 8225 Columbia Avenue, Munster, IN 46321 and 219-838-1328.

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