Everything Counts: Red Kettle Campaign Kicks Off
When the iconic sounds from The Salvation Army Red Kettle bells are in the air, it’s a traditional sign that Christmastime is here—ushering in the season of giving. The Salvation Army of Winnebago County is rolling out Red Kettles throughout Winnebago County as part of this year’s EVERYTHING COUNTS Christmas campaign. At a time when many local residents are being impacted by the financial pressures of inflation, food insecurity, and unstable housing, the funds raised will help provide critical resources, hope, and love to thousands year-round. Red Kettles will be ringing at local retailers through December 23, 2023.
An official Kettle Kick-Off event took place on Saturday, November 11. Majors Monty and Angela Wandling spearheaded the grand launch of The Salvation Army's most significant fundraiser of the year. The occasion was also graced by The Salvation Army Temple Brass Band who serenaded the gathering with a repertoire of Christmas melodies.
Why is the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign important?
While the Christmas season is a joyous time for many, the impact of inflation, skyrocketing food, and housing prices have thousands of Winnebago County families and individuals struggling to put warm meals on the table, worrying about how they will put children's gifts under the tree, and uncertain about how they will afford to stay in their homes as harsh winter temperatures are approaching.
Pointing out the significant need in our community, Major Monty Wandling said, "Our pantry services were up 180% over the summer, and approximately 30% of those were brand new families that have never come to us for assistance before." The generosity of volunteer bell ringers and donations made at Red Kettles help The Salvation Army Winnebago County meet the critical immediate and future needs of thousands of people in the local community year-round.
Last year, these funds helped provide management assistance for 12,508 individuals, including 437 cases of emergency rent and utility assistance, 4,370 families (11,237 individuals) obtained food for their households including dairy products, meat, bread, fresh produce, canned/packaged goods, and personal care items. In addition, 1,530 children woke up Christmas morning with gifts under the tree.
To meet the anticipated needs of the community year, The Salvation Army Winnebago County has set a 2023 Red Kettle campaign fundraising goal of $182,500. Community members can join the effort by ringing at a Red Kettle site. Register at registertoring.com. Financial gifts to the campaign can also be made online through our Virtual Red Kettle.
Every note, every jingle, and every contribution counts in Winnebago County this year. As Major Angela Wandling expressed, "If everyone in Winnebago County contributed just one dollar, we would meet our goal." As the festive season unfolds, let us unite and support our community during this season of giving.