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Every nickel counts, Salvation Army says

November 11, 2017 GMT

La PORTE — Nickels, dimes and quarters may not buy as much as they used to, but every bit counts when it comes to helping those in need, according to those behind the Red Kettle campaign.

“Some people think their change won’t make any difference, but it all adds up,” Salvation Army of La Porte Captain Justin Windell said Friday in a kickoff to the organization’s Red Kettle campaign outside Al’s grocery store on East Lincoln Way.

The goal for the organization this year is $75,000, Windell said. Along with a mail-in campaign, the organization hopes to raise $108,000.

Ten kettles — accompanied by 10 bell-ringing volunteers — are being set up at Walmart, both Walgreen’s locations, Kroger, the post office and Kabelin hardware stores. Dozens of countertop kettles dot retail stores across the city.

Donations from the kettles support a food pantry, soup kitchen, utility and rental assistance, a summer camp for kids, and a backpack program that sends food home with students on weekends.

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This is the biggest campaign of the year for Salvation Army, which relies on donations during the holidays to support programs for the poor all year.

“Need really knows no season,” Windell said.

As it has in the past, the Salvation Army and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve are teaming up on the Toys for Tots drive to provide gifts for children who may not otherwise get them.

The Michiana Marine Corps League, which spearheads the drive, contributes to the Salvation Army’s “toy store” at 3240 Monroe St. so parents can select toys based on what their children are hoping to receive for Christmas.

Jim Hannon, a Marine Corps veteran who bundled up against a biting wind Friday so he could ring a bell outside the Al’s, said he was honored to step up for the Salvation Army whether it involves working in the soup kitchen, collecting food donations or providing toys for children.

“We support the organization because they do a lot of good for the community,” Hannon said.