Red Kettle Campaign depends on an ‘army’ of volunteers

Volunteers needed to ring the bells for those less fortunate

By Terry LehrkeNews Editor

The Morrison County Salvation Army’s Christmas Red Kettle Campaign is under way. More volunteer bell ringers are needed to help collect funds to be used in Morrison County for such things as assisting local citizens with temporary emergency issues. Those who wish to volunteer a couple of hours of time can call (320) 360-5913. Pictured is volunteer Keith Manbeck of Little Falls. At 93 years of age, he is still ringing the bell.

The Morrison County Salvation Army’s Christmas Red Kettle Campaign is under way. More volunteer bell ringers are needed to help collect funds to be used in Morrison County for such things as assisting local citizens with temporary emergency issues. Those who wish to volunteer a couple of hours of time can call (320) 360-5913. Pictured is volunteer Keith Manbeck of Little Falls. At 93 years of age, he is still ringing the bell.

Volunteers are already standing next to bright red kettles outside of area businesses, collecting funds “Doing the Most Good” in Morrison County.

While the Morrison County Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is well under way, more volunteers are needed.

The campaign started at Coborn’s Superstore in Little Falls last week. This is the first year the ringers have been at Coborn’s and will be on hand select days during the season, which lasts through December.

Friday, bell ringers will begin ringing the bells at Walmart, where they have been stationed for the past three years. They will ring the bells Monday – Saturday at Walmart, except for Christmas Day.

During the 2012 Red Kettle Campaign, volunteers were able to double the funds raised in 2011.

“In 2012, we were able to raise $8,000 — right here in Morrison County,” said Betsy Tepley, volunteer coordinator for the Red Kettle Campaign. “And all of that money stayed right here in Morrison County.”

That money was used to help local Morrison County residents in need of temporary emergency assistance, such as car repairs, medications, utilities and housing issues and more.

“We were also able to purchase $800 worth of essential school supplies for seven of our Morrison County public elementary schools at the beginning of the school year,” said Tepley.

The money collected last year has all been used. Tepley pointed to the great need in Morrison County, due to cuts in Social Services and lay-offs.

“The money collected right here in Morrison County is the only money that stay right here in Morrison County,” said Tepley.

She said the money sent to the Roseville address goes to the Salvation Army headquarters. “That money would only be available to us if we would need disaster relief funds here in Morrison County,” she said.

The Morrison County Salvation Army chapter also has “Counter Kettles” placed in various stores around Little Falls, to offer another opportunity for residents to drop in a few coins.

Tepley hopes everyone is generous with not only their donations during the Red Kettle Campaign, but generous with their time as well.

“Come and make the Morrison County Salvation Army bells ring,” she said.

To sign up to ring the bells, call Tepley at (320) 360-5913.

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