By CLINT FOSTER
The local Salvation Army kettle drive is in a bit of a pickle. The famous national campaign, which lasts from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, has found itself in a hole in Palo Pinto County and far behind it’s goal of money to raise for the poor and needy this Christmas season.
Already working on a shortened period of time, with Thanksgiving falling later in November than usual, the local kettle campaign was crushed by the ice storm that swept across North Texas last weekend. Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County Salvation Army Service Extension Advisory Council President Ray Mays said the two ice days that virtually shut down the region resulted in the loss of about $4,000 that could have gone into red kettles that weekend.
“We were already in a pinch and then when the ice hit, it really put us back,” he said. “We’ve got to try to make that up somehow.”
There’s something you can do to help. Mays said the local campaign desperately needs volunteers to help ring bells and for folks to respond with donations. He added if the Salvation Army can get enough volunteers to staff the kettles, they will extend their schedule from only ringing on Fridays and Saturdays to include more days during the week.
“We need to try to really make a good showing the last few days of the drive so we can hopefully have as much as possible to help people this coming year,” he said. “The need seems to grow every year and resources get tighter and tighter.”
Mays said 100 percent of the money donated into the eight kettles around Mineral Wells and the rest of Palo Pinto County goes directly to helping the local community. Last year’s kettle drive generated 19,619.12 for Palo Pinto County and the local chapter of the Salvation Army has a way to go before they can reach that mark again. Mays said volunteers are paramount to the cause.
“We just really appreciate everyone who has volunteered,” he said. “We had some folks that braved the cold this last weekend. It’s just a great joy to be able to work with people in our community to help those in need.”
The Salvation Army is an International movement based on the Bible and motivated by the love of God and love for people.Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human need in His name without discrimination. The purpose of the Salvation Army is to raise funds and provide emergency assistance for people in a crisis situation in their local community.
For more information or to volunteer, call 940-445-7160. Donations can also be mailed to the following address:
The Salvation Army Mineral Wells/Palo Pinto County Service Extension Treasurer Linda Choate P.O. Box 861, Mineral Wells, 76068-0861.