LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Red Kettle Campaign is one fundraiser The Salvation Army relies on to collect funds that will be used year round.
This year, due to COVID-19, there were less bell ringers outside of stores. Although there were fewer red kettles, The Salvation Army of Laurel still decided to set a goal to raise $90,000.
“I’m very happy to report that we have reached our $90,000 community-wide goal for bell ringing,” Maj. Raymond Pruitt, with The Salvation Army of Laurel, said.
Pruitt said the grand total came out to $100,265.93.
“We are so thankful that our community has come through for us,” Pruitt said. “In 2019, we generated a little over $86,000, and I felt confident that we could reach $90,000, and our community rose to the challenge.”
Pruitt said red kettle funds help The Salvation Army throughout the year. This year, they assisted all 558 children who were part of the Angel Tree program. In addition to that, they provided Christmas food to 100 seniors.
“2020 was a very bizarre year for all of us, and what we’re very thankful for is, at The Salvation Army, even in the middle of all this, we were able to meet the needs of everyone who qualified to receive assistance,” Pruitt said.
With fewer kettles out this year, The Salvation Army also made its campaign digital. But, Pruitt said most of the community donated to the traditional bell ringers.
“By far the bulk of the gifts we received were cash and checks in the kettle,” Pruitt said.
He said the funds will help the organization continue serving six counties in Mississippi, including Jones, Jasper and Wayne counties.
“We’ve been here 81 years because of our friends and supporters,” Pruitt said. “If we didn’t have the revenue, if we didn’t have the resources, then we couldn’t do our work and so, again, we’re so thankful to everybody and 87 cents of every dollar that you give us goes directly to community services.”
At last check, The Salvation Army of Hattiesburg was close to reaching its $115,000 goal. Donations can still be made online to both organizations.