Bells will soon be ringing throughout the area as the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign begins the annual drive for funding to help the less fortunate.
The traditional rivalry between the members of the Plymouth Kiwanis and Plymouth Rotary clubs is expected to be even fiercer this year and each club is determined to collect the most donations to help those less fortunate in the Plymouth communities. While the Kiwanis members out collected the Rotarians during the bell-ringing campaign last year, the Rotary Morning Club members have agreed to join the Noon Club members to ensure victory this year by sheer numbers of volunteer bell-ringers.
Christmas is an especially important time for The Salvation Army, which distributes Christmas food boxes to families in need, gift cards for food for senior citizens and toys to families in need for wrapping under the Christmas tree. The Red Kettle bell-ringing campaign is a major component of the fund raising effort, officials said.
“This area is facing record numbers of the poor and destitute needing basic human services such as enough food to eat and a place to lay their heads,” said Major Mark Anderson, general secretary and metro Detroit area commander of The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit. “Donating to The Salvation Army is the most direct way to help those touched by the state's continued economic woes, because .85 cents of every dollar given in your community goes directly to fund programs that change lives.”
Officials from the Salvation Army explained that the need this year is greater than ever for the most vulnerable-those who may be choosing between paying rent or buying Christmas presents for their children, getting their medications or putting food on the table for their family. The effects of the pandemic have been felt in an extreme manner by many local families, they said.
The 82-day campaign began with tree lighting ceremonies in several local communities this month. This year, the goal is $8.2 million, a figure needed to ensure the organization can continue providing more than 3 million meals and nearly 700,000 nights of shelter each year to the less fortunate, officials said.
Both Rotary and Kiwanis members are sure their efforts will be the most successful this year and are entreating everyone to help with whatever amount they can put into the kettles which will be manned by volunteer bell-ringers at public places and markets throughout the Plymouth community.
Founded by William and Catherine Booth in London, England in 1865, The Salvation Army is a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to serving people in need without discrimination. This past year, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit was involved in providing 3,194,802 million meals and 687,203 nights of shelter for the homeless. For more information about The Salvation Army, call 877-SAL-MICH, or visit www.salmich.org.