Central Oklahoma residents donated a record $561,020.99to the 2010 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign in Oklahoma, Cleveland and Canadian Counties, the highest amount ever raised in Central Oklahoma, said Central Oklahoma Salvation Army Area Commander Maj. Dan Proctor.
Totals for Bellringing include:
Oklahoma County: $438,157.99 (Goal was $433,000)
Cleveland County: $96,363 (Goal was $95,000)
Canadian County: $25,635.31 (Goal was $24,000)
The Salvation Army attributed the campaign’s ongoing success to the continued support of retailers who invited the Red Kettle bell ringers to their front doors, volunteers who gave their time and the overall generosity of the community.
“This year’s Red Kettle results show the extraordinary compassion of local residents and retailers,” said Maj. Proctor. “We are extremely grateful to all the contributors that opened their hearts to help their neighbors.”
Oklahoma City’s Red Kettle Christmas Campaign donations far exceeded last year’s record of $411,000 raised in Oklahoma County. The lack of snow days and higher awareness also contributed to the success of the 2010 campaign, said Maj. Proctor
Funds raised through the Annual Red Kettle Campaign helps fund Christmas and other programs throughout the winter, including the public food pantry, utility assistance, senior programs, shelter programs and The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs.
“We are touched and humbled by the support of Central Oklahoma residents,” Proctor said. “Every dollar raised helps a family in need. With this generosity, The Salvation Army will continue to ‘Do the Most Good’ by providing hope and help to those who are suffering.”
From its humble beginnings as a fundraiser started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable outreach efforts in the United States. As part of the drive, more than 25,000 Salvation Army volunteers fan out across the country to ring bells and solicit spare change donations to the iconic red kettles from holiday shoppers. The nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars (and the occasional diamond ring or gold tooth) are all returned to help those in the communities where they were raised. Last year, the funds helped The Salvation Army serve more than 31 million Americans in need, including 6 million who received holiday assistance such as toys, coats, rent and utility assistance, among others.