Why Captain Amanda Is Ringing a Bell for 12 Hours Straight

Dec 18, 2020

Tomorrow (December 19), shoppers at the Strack and Van Til grocery store in Crown Point, Indiana, will see a Salvation Army officer ringing a bell by one of our iconic Red Kettles. All. Day. Long.

From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Captain Amanda Keene, the corps officer at the Gary-Merrillville Corps Community Center, will be taking part in the Rescue Christmas Captain Challenge.  

“We are very behind in our kettle fundraising campaign this year, but requests for our social services have increased by over 500 percent,” she said. “The need is even greater, so I needed to do something creative to try and catch up!”

That creativity led her to plan a 12-hour marathon of bell ringing, which she said will be fueled by “coffee, hot cocoa, a lot of Jesus, and the motivation to help our community!” She also plans to sing and dance just enough to keep moving and stay warm.

The goal of the Rescue Christmas Captain Challenge is to raise the $20,000 that the Gary-Merrillville is behind on fundraising at the moment, both through Red Kettle donations and corporate sponsors, including Webb Hyundai in Merrillville & Highland, Majestic Star Casino, and Mike Anderson Chevrolet of Merrillville.

“We’ve served over 15,000 people since the pandemic started, and the need continues to increase,” Captain Amanda said. “It has never been more important to raise money in the kettles, as the money goes back into the community through social services and programming.” Those services include rent/mortgage/utilities assistance, food, and medical and hygiene supplies, some of the biggest needs the corps has seen since the pandemic began.

“My daily goal is that The Salvation Army Gary-Merrillville would be a place of hope and love,” said Captain Amanda. She hopes the funds raised tomorrow will help her and her team keep doing that throughout the Christmas season, the pandemic, and well beyond.

Photo Disclaimer: Masked removed at kettle site while capturing photo.


Rescue Christmas for Our Neighbors in Need

Help Rescue Christmas   Fundraise for Good

Ring a Bell   Volunteer   Make the Holiday Bright for a Child

For tax purposes: The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division EIN is 36-2167910.


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