Lewisville Leader > News
Kettle campaign begins
During Monday's Lewisville City Council meeting, the Salvation Army officially kicked off its annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign.
Shelagh Skipsey, director of The Salvation Army in Lewisville, detailed new changes to this year's campaign before Mayor Dean Ueckert donated the ceremonial first dollar to the campaign. He was followed by council members, city staff and residents attending the meeting.
"This year we have added a QR code to each kettle sign. The codes allow smart phone users to download the free QR app and donate by scanning the code," Skipsey said. "People will be able to donate $5 or $10. This is supposed to reach the community members who don't walk around with cash. We're also hoping it will reach the younger crowd."
People will begin seeing kettle stands Friday when the campaign hits the streets. The center needs volunteers to work the 24 kettle sites in the greater Lewisville area.
Workdays are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Volunteers are asked to work at least a half day.
"We always need volunteers for kettles because without volunteers, we have to pay people to work the kettles," Skipsey said.
The more volunteers, the more funds the Salvation Army can collect to help provide the community with assistance. If the center cannot obtain enough volunteers, it has to hire bell ringers. The cost to the center is about $80 a day per person for a bell ringer. That is less money the Salvation Army can use to help struggling families, Skipsey said.
The Lewisville center serves not only Lewisville residents in need, but also those in Flower Mound and other surrounding cities. Those interested in volunteering may contact the kettle organizer at 972-353-9400. Volunteers must be 18 and older or have adult supervision. The campaign will end on Dec. 24.
The kettle campaign is the Salvation Army's only fundraiser for the entire year, so it is crucial to have volunteers.
"Most major stores want a national agreement for the kettles so we can't begin the campaign in front of those stores until the Friday after Thanksgiving," Skipsey said. "That puts us in a deficit of $5,000 before we even begin."
Beginning Friday, kettles will be stationed at J.C. Penney, Lowes in Flower Mound, Walgreens on Round Grove Road and at Main Street and Kirkpatrick Lane.
Skipsey said The Salvation Army is once again facing a tough year.
"We've had quite a drastic rise in the need for help since last year," Skipsey said. "Every year the number of those we serve grows."
The Red Kettle Christmas Campaign enables the Salvation Army to provide food, toys and clothing to more than six million people during the Christmas season and helps more than 34 million Americans recovering from all kinds of personal disasters nationwide.
The Red Kettle campaign, first started in San Francisco in 1891, has traditionally been the Salvation Army's most prominent fund-raiser. In 2004, the campaign raised more than $100 million in communities nationwide, with the nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars all remaining in the towns where the money was deposited into the kettles. The funds raised help support many of the 37 million people in poverty who turn to the Army for food and toys at Christmas, utility and homeless assistance, senior and child care, drug abuse treatment and many other social service needs.
The Salvation Army in Lewisville offers a food pantry, emergency financial assistance, summer heat relief and Christmas assistance. For information about the center's programs and services call 972-353-9400.