Despite a continuing rough economy, the Danville Salvation Army has set the same fundraising goal for its annual Christmas kettle campaign that it has had the last two years.
The goal is $85,000, and the money will be used not only to cover the costs of providing food and other items for clients during the Christmas holidays but also to fund various nutritional, social service, educational, recreational and emergency programs year-round, said Lt. Dan Nelson, co-commander of the local army.
“The Christmas campaign is what keeps our programs and services going in Boyle, Casey, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties,” Nelson said.
The main source of income from the campaign comes from money dropped into the army’s kettles, and bell ringers will be out in force at locations Friday through Dec. 24, excluding Sundays.
Kettle locations are at the Walmart stores in Danville, Harrodsburg and Stanford and the Kroger stores in Danville and Harrodsburg.
As as has been the case the last several years, the army will rely on volunteer bell ringers from various local businesses, clubs, churches and other organizations, Nelson said.
The army started using volunteers to cut expenses incurred in paying bell ringers and to get the community involved in a hands-on manner with the kettle campaign, he said.
“It’s remarkable to see how a little goes a long way,” he said. “A little bit of volunteer time coupled with a little money donation adds up to a tremendous amount of blessing for those in need in our communities.”
The army needs vounteers to fill all slots at all of the locations, Nelson said.
“Since the army in Danville began using all volunteer bell ringers, we have yet to fill every slot at every location,” he said. “The more volunteers we have ringing the bell, the better the chances we have of meeting our goal.
“One hour (of bell ringing) makes a difference,” he said. “Two, three or four hours make even a bigger difference.”
Two local businesses will match donations made on certain days, Nelson said.
Community Trust Bank will match donations up to $1,500 on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11. Danville Office Equipment will match donations up to $5,000 on Dec. 17 and Dec. 18.
In addition, bell ringers from Danville Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club will compete for garnering the most donations from Dec. 6-11 at the Danville Walmart store.