SPRINGFIELD — The Clark County Salvation Army is asking the community to check for loose change in couch cushions and car seats to help make up for the nearly $10,000 shortfall in its red kettle fundraiser.
“It’s one of the most recognizable fundraisers in the world,” Development Director Ryan Ray said of the campaign in its 127th year.
In an era when people pay with smartphones and often don’t carry cash or coins, Ray said he wants community members who see a red kettle to know what it represents.
“Lives are positively affected and enriched by your money. We promise and guarantee the money given is used to the best of our ability; 83 cents of every dollar given to us is invested in lives in the community to help those falling through the cracks,” Ray said.
Utility, housing and food assistance, programs for at-risk youth and helping those in homeless shelters get back on their feet are among ways the Salvation Army reaches out.
“Here in Clark County, people oftentimes see our kettles as hope. A lot of bell ringers have seen help from the Salvation Army and they want to give back,” Ray said.
Bell ringers are paid minimum wage, but it often can be difficult to staff the kettles. Many are likely put off by the cold weather.
“The ones you see out there are warriors. ... “One of the all-star bell ringers is at Walmart on Bechtle,” who often dances and sings as he's out ringing the bell and wishing shoppers a Merry Christmas.