If you took a behind-the-scenes peek at The Salvation Army in Waukesha, you would see the red kettle stands lined up, ready to "march" out to the stores for the upcoming Christmas holiday season.
Nov. 1 is the start of the Bell Ringing Campaign, the Salvation Army's major fundraiser of the year.
In 2012, money raised through the campaign provided:
·10,667 nights of shelter to homeless men
·275 orders for prescriptions or clothing
·4,963 bags of groceries to families in need
·3,486 hygiene and personal care items
·financial assistance for 154 families
·18,25 hot meals
·2,093 backpacks of weekend food in the Snack Pack Program
·8,829 toys to children in need at Christmas
·camping opportunities for 83 at The Salvation Army Camp in East Troy
·summer day camp for 74 youth
·6,407 sessions of homework, music, arts, craft and character building to after school children
·reduced fares to 4,857 seniors using the Seniors on the Go taxi in Mukwonago
·more than 53,662 hours volunteer service.
The Salvation Army would prefer to staff all bell-ringing sites with volunteers, but when volunteers are not available it is forced to hire individuals. Hundreds of spots are still open and need to be filled. To volunteer, visit www.waukeshasalvationarmy.org.
Volunteers are encouraged to have fun during their ringing. Many regular volunteers sing carols, play music or dress up their pets and bring them out. It's about having fun, spreading holiday cheer and helping those in need in our community.
There are more than 25,000 hours of ringing to fill all locations available throughout Waukesha County.
Community recognition of bell ringing will be Friday, Nov. 22, at the Waukesha tree lighting in downtown Waukesha.
Individuals and groups will ring to reach a goal of $475,000 toward the total Christmas fundraising goal of $695,000 set for 2013. If accomplished, this would be the highest ever raised in Waukesha County. The 2012 campaign brought in nearly $446,000. The increase in this year's goal accounts for an increase in the demand for services.
This year there will be a special competition for service clubs, youth groups, businesses and other organizations. Be sure to include your organization's name when signing up to ring bells if you would like to be included in the competition.
For more information about The Salvation Army, visit www.waukeshasalvationarmy.org or call Phil Hanson, Salvation Army volunteer coordinator at (262) 547-7367 Ext 231.
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