One of the most familiar sights of the Christmas season is a Salvation Army bell-ringer with a red kettle soliciting donations.
In these challenging economic times, the local Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign needs our support more than ever. According to Salvation Army Maj. Bill Cox, this year's goal is to raise $65,000 in red kettle donations and $75,000 during a mail Christmas donation appeal.
So far, donations are running about the same as last year. It is a credit to the people who live in the Delta County area. We are a generous and giving people who demonstrate the will to help those less fortunate time and time again.
Make no mistake - need is great here. The Salvation Army and other local charitable organizations are fielding more requests for help than ever. Just take a look at the numbers. Although the local jobless rate has been steadily declining, it still stands at 11.2 percent - 2,100 workers. To make matters worse, the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth has reported that from September 2010 to April 2011, approximately 2,600 people in Delta County will exhaust their unemployment benefits.
We have people in the area who need help, and charities like the Salvation Army help them 365 days a year. Red kettle donations help make that possible. In addition to providing families with Christmas baskets and toys, the Salvation Army operates a Friendship kitchen, food pantry, temporary shelter, rent and utility assistance and other help for the needy to numerous to mention.
Funds raised stay in the local area. So when you see a bell-ringer and red kettle this holiday season, give what you can. If you would like to volunteer to be a bell-ringer, call the Salvation Army at 786-0590.
Your efforts will help your neighbors and the community.