JINGLE ALL THE WAY — Lori Ploetz, organizer of the local Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive, rings for donations in Tops Market in Springville. Photo by Leo Mrugala.
SPRINGVILLE — The Salvation Army is holding its annual Red Kettle Drive for the upcoming holiday season, a fundraiser the organization calls one of its most important of the year.
Around Christmas time each year, volunteer bell-ringers hang out their kettles to receive donations, throughout the United States. In Springville, volunteers have set up in three spots: both doors at Wal-Mart and in the foyer at Tops Market. Lori Ploetz, who has helped run the event in Springville for the past 14 years, said the Salvation Army is looking for volunteers, and that it’s a great way for people to give back, during the holiday season.
“The Red Kettle Drive always brings out a lot of people in the community. It seems like every year we have great turn-outs and I wouldn’t expect anything different, this year,” said Ploetz.
“We encourage people of all ages to help. It could be students, families, couples, businesses, organizations or clubs. We have church members who come down in groups to help ring; some couples turn it into a date night. They come ring for a couple of hours, then they go out to dinner somewhere in town and make a night of it. It could be a student who needs community service [experience]; they could come ring and I could give them credit for some community service hours.”
Those who are interested in taking part in the event can call Love In the Name of Christ at 592-3761 to schedule a time slot. Shifts run for two hours, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. every day, except on Sundays. Ploetz said she encourages people to dress warmly, if they plan to volunteer at the Wal-Mart locations, because the bells are set up outside of the doors. Volunteers can also bring a musical instrument or sing Christmas carols.
According to Ploetz, money raised through the program provides toys for kids, food for the hungry, coats for the homeless and other charitable services. All money raised in Springville stays in Springville.
“It’s all for a great cause; everything that is raised goes to the people that need it the most,” said Ploetz.
“The money could help aid in emergency purposes,” she continued. “It could help people who have lost their gas or electric, due to an emergency. It could help people who don’t have proper clothing, during the winter months. It will help assist people who are struggling to live without the basic essentials.”
Another way to help donate to the cause is to purchase a carbon monoxide detector at the Valu Home Center in Springville. A portion of those sales will be donated to the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive, throughout the season.
The coordinator said the drive is a special event that not only helps people in need, but also helps bring people close together.
“People want to be out in the community and with their loved ones, around the holidays. This is a great way to do both,” she said.
Ploetz noted this will be her last year helping coordinate the Red Kettle Drive.
“I’ve seen a lot of great things, over the past 14 years. Each year, people come out to show their support and enthusiasm in giving back. A lot of people have donated their time and money to help support the cause and that’s what has made this program so successful, over the years. I’m looking forward to another great year, this holiday season,” she said.
This year’s drive began on Nov. 29 and runs through Christmas Eve. For more information, visit www.loveincspringville.com
or call Love INC at 592-3761.