Counting Our Blessings
These days, Doug Kucera thinks a lot about gratitude. He counts his blessings and knows how close he came last year to becoming another sad COVID-19 statistic. When the virus struck a coffee group at his church, four of the eight members ended up in the hospital, including Doug. After a frightening stay in the hospital, he recovered, but two of his friends never made it home.
The experience was lifechanging and gave Doug unique insight into the incredible generosity he saw from his community this past Christmas. As a volunteer for The Salvation Army’s Marshall County Service Extension Unit, Doug oversees the annual Red Kettle fundraising campaign and makes sure that funds get to those people in the most need. Generosity is nothing new in his community, but this fall he saw something very special happen.
“This whole year has been a challenge,” Doug shared. “We had a bare-bones operation bell ringing this year with fewer kettles and fewer ringers. But God is good. I was amazed when we still brought in exactly what we brought in last year. I was $100 short and mentioned it on the radio and sure enough, a fellow brought me a $100 check. I think those who appreciate how good we had it before are very appreciative of being able to walk around and be healthy – I know I am!”
Those kettle donations are more important than ever after 2020 stretched The Salvation Army’s resources to its limits. When businesses closed in the spring, residents found themselves without a paycheck to cover food, rent, and utilities. Doug focused on getting aid out quickly, using every resource on hand.
“The Salvation Army food boxes that came from Indy were a real blessing,” he said. “There were some people with big families, so we gave them two boxes to get them through a tough spot. We also used funds from the Lilly grant, which helped us fill lots of requests for help with utilities and rent.”
As we continue to help Hoosiers weather this pandemic, we too are grateful for the support of volunteers and donors who share their time and blessings during times of great need. Thank you for being here for The Salvation Army so we can be here for others.