Here's an update from Dave Ferber at Salvation Army on the Red Kettle campaign -- good luck, Dave!
Why the Red Kettle is important to me
Volunteer “Wendy” greeted my Saturday morning shopping trip to Staples in northwest Rochester with her charming smile and heartfelt Christmas caroling on the sidewalk in front of the store and next to an iconic Red Kettle. Apparently someone attached that morning’s Salvation Army kettle to the stand but neglected to leave the two outdoor bells that normally would accompany the iconic cash container, causing Wendy to improvise. Her singing wasn’t perhaps as loud as the bells would be, but more than made up for any auditory deficit with her enthusiasm and Christmas cheer!
As a Red Kettle ringer I have often experienced a diversity of human activity during my time with this commitment. I have witnessed senior citizens strolling past, casually slipping a dollar into the kettle, while the obviously busy businessperson breezes by and literally catches the container in mid-flight with mixed success. Mothers whisper their interpretations on the importance of charity to their children on tippy-toe, dropping in a precious penny or two. People who have been helped by The Salvation Army return the favor when they can and often relate their past experiences and the support they received. Distracted but well attired couples fumble for the largest bill in their billfolds or purses, sometimes inserting multiple tens or twenties. Most may never think twice about this donation beyond the sound it makes as it drops into the kettle and the heartfelt, “Thank you!” and, “Merry Christmas!” but the additive value of each transaction cannot be more important today.
We are grateful for the community’s financial support of The Salvation Army during challenging economic times. We know that each request for monetary assistance can get lost in the cacophony of December appeals for year-end, tax-deductible amounts to fund needs that are seemingly endless, but we must once more extend our humble and sincere plea for your generosity and support.
The Salvation Army is also blessed to have the support of so many wonderful volunteers who dedicate just a few hours of time or entire days committed to the success of important seasonal programs. They assist with the annual Christmas Campaign, Cans Film Festival, Children’s Shopping Trip, Christmas Toy & Joy Shop and more. We could not Do The Most Good if not for the tireless work performed by these generous souls, and we cannot thank them enough. Feel free to acknowledge their important gift, if only with your smile but certainly with your monetary donations!
The Salvation Army programs feed the hungry, clothe and house the homeless and provide medical and dental care for those in need. The Rochester Corps does this locally, exclusively and with a history spanning over 100 years. Most of what we take in is turned around and invested back into our community. Each folded dollar or seemingly inconsequential handful of coins deposited into a kettle is crucial to our programs and gives us the ability to serve and help our clients to survive.
We have all experienced the last few days before Christmas and in last-minute-gift or planning-the-menu mode. We may not necessarily connect the significance of putting a dollar or two into the bright red Salvation Army kettles we pass at grocery and department stores, pharmacy and specialty outlets or even at restaurant counters, or the impact of dropping off or mailing a check to The Salvation Army’s Community Center at 20 First Avenue NE, Rochester MN 55906, but we should feel good knowing that each generous donation supports a local charitable organization that invests back into our community while fulfilling its mission of Doing The Most Good.
Thank you for your support of The Salvation Army in this past year, and we look forward to serving this community in the next year and for many years to come. Merry Christmas!