Bells Ringing for Red Kettle Campaign

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

Lloyd Behrens says this is his third season as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army's red kettle campaign.

He says the Salvation Army was there for him when he needed help, so he's glad to return the favor.

"I don't mind doing it, it's a benefit for those in need," says Behrens. "The way the economy is in this country, we need the Salvation Army."

The Grand island Salvation Army says they've increased their Red Kettle campaign goal to $185,000 this year - a reflection of both the increased cost or operation and an increase in needs.

"The Red Kettle campaign raises about a third of our operating budget for the entire year, so it's a very crucial fundraiser for us," says Grand Island Salvation Army Captain Dave Mowers.

Mowers says during the cold months they've had to turn people away when their 16-bed shelter is full. That's why the chapter is moving their thrift store to a new building, hoping to make more space for expansion in the coming years.

But for now Mowers says their focus is on raising enough money so they won't have to cut back on any of their current services.

"The exponential rise in need that we've seen, really it caused us to go after a bigger goal this year," he says. "We're really trusting and have faith that the community is going to support that goal and help us to make that."

Mowers says the community has already been extremely supportive. He says they raised about $5,000 more than their $165,000 goal last year.

Grand Island's bell ringers will be at more stores after Thanksgiving, and will be manning the red kettles until Christmas Eve.

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