Bell ringers sought to raise money for Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign

Posted: October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign is in need of volunteers. For more  information about volunteering in central Oklahoma, call 246-1101.

By Robert Medley

Published: October 29, 2012

Oklahoman

For more than 20 years, Ernie Potter has been ringing bells to get people to  drop coins into red kettles to help those in need in central Oklahoma.

photo - Ernie Potter, facilities manager, checks the lock on a Salvation Army red kettle at the Central Oklahoma Area Command for The Salvation Army in Oklahoma City. The organization’s 2012 holiday donation drive starts in November.  Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman

Ernie Potter, facilities manager, checks the lock on a  Salvation Army red kettle at the Central Oklahoma Area Command for The Salvation  Army in Oklahoma City. The organization’s 2012 holiday donation drive starts in  November.  Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman

Multimedia

Potter, 65, has seen some surprises in the kettles. A woman dropped a ring in  a kettle with a note attached once that said, “This is not a mistake. Having  this ring was a mistake.”

Once, a 1-ounce gold coin was dropped in a red kettle.

There have been $100 bills, too. People drop their car keys in the kettles  quite frequently, he said.

But none of the items found in the kettles reminds Potter why he rings the  bells more than a woman who yelled at him not to go anywhere as she came out of  a store.

The woman, he recalled, said she had gone through hard times 20 years earlier  and her family would not have had a Christmas if it had not been for The  Salvation Army’s assistance.

“Those are the people who make it so satisfying,” Potter said. “People who  have worked hard all their lives and are suddenly in need we assist. That is  what makes you know how important this is.”

Potter recalled the story Thursday as he worked to round up more volunteers  for this year’s Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign in central Oklahoma. The  national campaign is from Nov. 9 to Dec. 24.

Jeanean Castle, Salvation Army director of development for Oklahoma, Canadian  and Cleveland counties, said the telephone rang 5,000 times in one hour on a  recent day. The calls were from people needing utility or Christmas  assistance.

The 2011 Red Kettle campaign raised $650,000, Castle said. Salvation Army  officials hope to top that this year. There is more of a need out there than  ever before with economic conditions, she said.

The money raised by bell ringers outside of retail stores supports all  Salvation Army programs and services, Castle said. Christmas needs are seasonal,  and only a portion of the work that is done year round, she said.

People who can’t volunteer time as bell ringers can raise funds online, she  said. The website is www.onlineredkettle.org.

For more information about volunteering in central Oklahoma, call  246-1101.
Read more: http://newsok.com/bell-ringers-sought-to-raise-money-for-salvation-army-red-kettle-campaign/article/3723469#ixzz2AihNiEBg

About these ads
Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s