Hopeful local Salvation Army for Red Kettle fundraiser

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) – The local Salvation Army has recruited approximately 300 volunteers to participate in its 2021 Red Kettle fundraising campaign – a record.

The non-profit organization kicked off the fundraiser on Friday afternoon at the Loudoun Street shopping center, in front of Mexican restaurant El Centro. The campaign runs through December 24 and involves bell ringers soliciting donations from many kettles stationed in the community. The money raised provides residents of the area in need with food, temporary accommodation and other forms of assistance.

“We have certainly been able to communicate a lot more with the volunteers because we have saved their contact details to contact them again,” said Salvation Army Captain Jared Martin. “But I also think people are eager to come out again after being held up for so long. And it’s a wonderful way to make a difference in our community.

This year’s fundraising goal is $ 75,000, down from last year’s goal of $ 95,000 and last year’s goal of $ 140,000. The campaign brought in $ 78,823 last year, which was a difficult time for the Salvation Army as it struggled to raise funds and secure the bell ringers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Martin said the 2020 campaign was called “Rescue Christmas” because everything was “in such peril”. But Martin is more optimistic about this year and noted that this year’s campaign is called “Hope Marches On”.

Among those at the kickoff was Frederick County Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears, who was the first person to pour money into a kettle. She said it was “so good to be here” and remembered when she was director of the Hampton Roads Salvation Army Women’s Shelter when she lived in this area.

“When you work in the Salvation Army, you see so much good that can be done, and I loved every minute of it,” Sears said. “It was the best job I have ever had. My husband could tell you that I was barely home because you can see how much hope you put in the lives of those who need it most.

Martin said 82 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to the people the nonprofit serves. That leaves 12 cents for administrative expenses and six cents for fundraising. Sears has said that the amount of money the Salvation Army gives per dollar is “awesome”.

Over the past year, the local Salvation Army has served 243 people at its 48 bed shelter at 300 Fort Collier Road – 45 children, 43 survivors of domestic violence and 17 over 62 years old.

“When these children and survivors of domestic violence needed help, those doors were open because of you,” Martin told the crowd.

Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV was among those who donated at the event. He said it’s important to support organizations like the Salvation Army.

“It has been a difficult year for nonprofits with the virus,” Harbaugh said. “For many of them, it has restricted the way they can raise funds and generate income. Events were difficult to organize for many locations. But, more than ever this year, they need the help they can get with donations and support. So it’s a good start to the year and hopefully a better and brighter year for The Salvation Army. “

During the event, the national capital group of the Salvation Army performed classic Christmas carols like “Deck the Halls” and “Feliz Navidad”.

Those who cannot donate in person have the option of creating a “kettle” online at redkettlenow.com (scroll to Winchester).

Also on Friday, the Salvation Army launched its Angel Tree program to collect Christmas gifts for children in need. People who wish to give gifts are invited to select an angel-shaped tag from among the Christmas trees placed in various places in the community. Each angel contains information about the child, such as age and a Christmas wish list. Martin said this year’s program will benefit approximately 750 children.

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