DAVID STONE | OUR TOWN TEMPLE
Sleigh bells aren’t the only thing ringing this time of the year — The Salvation Army’s familiar Red Kettle Campaign is in full swing here in Bell County and bellringers are looking to bring in a big haul for those in need.
The Christmas season represents the organization’s busiest and most important fundraising time of the year. Every dollar raised through the iconic Red Kettle Campaign remains in the community in which it was given and makes it possible for The Salvation Army to deliver life-changing programs and services throughout the year.
According to Lt. David Beckham, commanding officer of The Salvation Army in Bell County, thousands of Central Texas families continue to struggle in the current economy, and many live from paycheck to paycheck.
The Salvation Army is there throughout the year to help when times are tough; when people are forced to choose between paying the rent or the utility bill, when families need help putting food on the table, or when children need school supplies or new clothes for the school year.
“From its humble beginnings in 1891, when a Salvation Army Captain used a crab pot to collect funds in San Francisco, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the best recognized charitable campaigns anywhere,” Beckham said. “Thanks to the support of donors and corporate partners, the money raised will help The Salvation Army provide food, shelter and social services to people who come to us in crisis, often at the very worst times of their life.”
Starting with the first days of November, Red Kettles have been stationed outside Temple and Belton Walmart stores, as well as Lowe’s, Hobby Lobby and Sam’s Club in Temple. The kettles will remain in place through Christmas Eve.
According to Beckham, The Salvation Army in Bell County raised $150,000 last year and hopes to raise $175,000 this season.
“With fewer and fewer people carrying cash, we’re also offering several cashless ways to donate,” he said. “Donors can give on their smartphone, using Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo right there at the red kettle.”