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Red kettle campaigns also benefit smaller communities

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Bells will be ringing at locations throughout Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties in an effort to attract donors to red kettle stands. The money raised will help support people who need a little cheer even after the holidays.

Although there is no direct Salvation Army agency affiliated with communities in Lowville, Adams, Alexandria Bay, Clayton, Carthage, Gouverneur, Potsdam or Canton, the large nonprofit helps form committees within those communities to help run smaller-scale red kettle campaigns.

Most funds raised within those individual communities remain there, and help people obtain eye glasses, assistance with their heating bill, clothing, rental assistance, and prescriptions through Salvation Army vouchers, according to Forrest R. Kimball, field service representative for the Empire State Division of the Salvation Army.

“It’s been going on for well over 20 years,” Mr. Kimball said, regarding the smaller red kettle efforts. “These campaigns are very important to those communities because money we raise there stays in those communities.”

Lanie E. McCauley, who organizes the red kettle effort that benefits Alexandria Bay, Plessis and Redwood, said having a red kettle at the new Price Chopper will help the local campaign tremendously, as only a few hundred dollars was raised last year. Volunteer bell ringers stood with a red kettle at the Big M on Route 12, and several small businesses agreed to host counter-top red kettles.

“With Price Chopper there, it’ll be a lot better,” she said.

Counter-top kettles throughout the greater Alexandria Bay area are left out all year long, and money is collected by Dec. 24 — the last day for all red kettle campaigns.

At the Tops on Route 11 in Adams, about $11,500 was collected between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve in 2012, according to Rose Morgan, coordinator for the camp there, which benefits Southern Jefferson County.

“This is God’s project,” she said. “The money goes to people who need it. Those pennies and dollars add up. One night, my husband helped me count $8 in pennies.”

Mrs. Morgan said she also recently carried in $280 in quarters and $1,000 in $1 bills into the bank. People donate their loose change, small bills and large bills, she said.

Some extra help will be given to the Adams area, and beyond, thanks to a partnership between the Empire State Division of the Salvation army and Fuccillo Automotive Group. All Fuccillo dealerships will have red kettles on site, according to a recent Salvation Army news release.

Other groups may hold events to benefit individual red kettle campaigns in their community by calling Mr. Kimball at 877-6079. Proceeds from the Northern Lights Orchestra’s 7 p.m. Dec. 19 Christmas concert at the Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive, Clayton, will benefit the Clayton area red kettle campaign. For more information, call the box office at 686-2200.

While Mrs. Morgan said she has no trouble filling volunteer bell ringer slots, Ms. McCauley said she could use a few more. People may reach her at 408-6031 to volunteer through Dec. 24.

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