MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The Salvation Army of Marquette County has had a successful fundraising effort this year, exceeding their goal for the 2020 Red Kettle effort by 9%. Additionally, the Toy Shop saw a 15% increase in the number of children assisted this year.
The total Red Kettle for Marquette County raised $98,678.40 against a goal of $90,000. Additional donations from on-line giving are still being tabulated.
“The money that is raised goes directly back into the community,” said Captain Doug Winters. “This allows us to continue the services we provide at the higher level of need that we are seeing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” For example, the lunch program offered free to the community has seen more than a 200% increase. In December, an average of 139 meals was served each day to anyone in need. 17,728 meals have been served since March.
The Red Kettle effort is primarily a volunteer effort and is supported by many groups in the community each year. The Noon Rotary of Marquette, the Noon Kiwanis of Ishpeming, and the Marquette Fire Department are groups that volunteer each year.
Additionally, this year saw a Police vs. Fire bell-ringing event that saw more than $6,000 raised in less than four hours on December 18. Action Physical Therapy filled a kettle location for an entire day.
“The volunteers are so critical to our Red Kettle drive. We saw so many volunteers this year that went our multiple times to help with this effort,” said Winters. Each 2-hour volunteer shift also is eligible for a drawing for one of three gift certificates to Jandron’s Fine Jewelry, offered as an incentive for people to volunteer. The Red Kettle drive is used to support year-round programs for The Salvation Army.
The Toy Shop was again a successful event. 312 families, supporting 749 children, were assisted this year in a bigger way than ever. Approximately 3800 gifts were distributed this year. Additionally, games and books were distributed to each family. Nearly 30 bikes were distributed, due to a large donation of bikes from Marthaler of Marquette GMC Cadillac. The parents were not able to select individual gifts for their children due to COVID restrictions, but volunteers were able to pack gifts for families based on wish lists submitted by each parent.
Visit RescueChristmas.org to donate or learn more about how you can help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas this year. If you need services or know of someone in need, please call 906-226-2241.