The Salvation Army of Ripley County Red Kettle Campaign is still ongoing, reminds Patrick Rose, a member of its advisory council here. In fact, Batesville Kroger leaders are allowing volunteers to collect money through Dec. 31.
Batesville Kroger manager Mike Settembrini notes the company has a long-standing relationship with the nonprofit. “I think a lot of the customers look for the Salvation Army at the stores each year as a way to donate” to those less fortunate.
The reason the kettles will remain in action after Christmas: Donations so far are less than half what they were a year ago. In 2012, bell ringers collected $8,080 in the county, reports Billie Kay, Salvation Army Indiana Division, Indianapolis, service extension director. From Nov. 29 through Dec. 19, contributions totalled just over $3,000. She blames two factors – mostly nasty weather that kept folks at home and a shorter holiday season. “We lost six days” due to the late Thanksgiving date.
Why should residents donate? “To help the people living in their communities,” answers Kay. “Funding donated in Ripley County to the Salvation Army stays in Ripley County,” Rose emphasizes.
According to Kay, “We are an emergency assistance program.” Cash is not given to those in need. Instead, checks are written to companies that provide food, clothing, medicines, utilities and other necessities.
In addition to tossing coins and paper bills in the kettles, persons may write checks made payable to Salvation Army of Ripley County. Money also can be contributed at United Community Bank, Osgood, Kay reports. Area residents who want to be generous, but stay put may donate online at www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769).
Besides Kay, other Salvation Army workers help efforts here. Rhonda Money is the organization’s southern Indiana liaison and Sandy Taylor is the service representative and kettle coordinator. The Salvation Army Ripley County Advisory Council is led by chair the Rev. Donald Buck and co-chair Patrick Rose. Other members are Ray Taylor, Owen Menchhofer, Sue Siefert and Sister Margaret Wissman.