By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer
Sleigh bells aren’t the only familiar bells at Christmastime. Shoppers walking into some local businesses now may hear the ringing of a different bell, but this one resounds for charity.
The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign kicked off Friday at Kroger, JCPenney and Save A Lot. Volunteers will begin ringing the charity bells at Walmart beginning Friday, according to Salvation Army Capt. Mark Love.
The fundraising campaign will end on Christmas Eve. All proceeds go toward the overall operation of Madison County’s Salvation Army, which includes a thrift store, shelter and soup kitchen.
Funding also will go to help prepare a day shelter, as the organization now only offers overnight shelter.
“We need a place for people to be during the day if they don’t have a place to be,” said Salvation Army Capt. Sallie Love. “We’ve already started to do some additional programming. We’re working with Kentucky River Foothills on providing job training and working with the Madison County Extension Office to do some training with folks on using food stamps wisely, maintaining good nutrition and showing people better ways to live their lives.”
Aside from a small grant from the United Way, all of the services provided by the Salvation Army in Richmond are made possible through money netted from the Red Kettle Campaign, thrift store and other private donations, Sallie Love said. Anyone needing services offered by the Salvation Army or who would like to donate items or their time should call 624-5826.
The Salvation Army is at 1675 E. Main St. and can be reached by calling 624-5826.
Volunteer opportunities include:
• Soup kitchen workers
• Thrift store workers
• Food donations
• Emergency disaster response team
• General maintenance/lawn care
• Women’s Auxiliary projects
• Donations to the thrift store
• General donations to be used where needed
During the Christmas season, find out how to help with the following programs:
• Angel Tree Program
• Food basket donations
• Christmas stocking donations