Salvation Army red kettles raise $138,802

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From left, Cassie Herman and Julita Ward, both of Columbia Falls, ring bells for the Salvation Army in front of the Super 1 Foods store in Evergreen on Thursday morning, December 12. Herman said she works for Farmer's Insurance in Kalispell and Ward works for State Farm in Evergreen, both businesses are members of the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce. (Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

The local Salvation Army and Toys for Tots wrapped up its fourth season of partnership this past holiday season. The Salvation Army also provides food certificates for Christmas dinner and clothing for children, and coordinates the “Adopt A Family” program. More than 17,000 toys and clothes were given to children through the Toy & Joy Program. Over this Christmas season over 1,300 individuals were helped.

Many businesses and organizations hosted Angel Trees and Toys for Tots drop-off areas. UPS and Civil Air Patrol gathered toys, and caring citizens helped provide what was needed to make sure every child had presents under the tree. Numerous volunteers spent hours gathering, organizing and distributing gifts to the families.

The Christmas Kettle Campaign is all a part of the main fundraiser of the year. The owners of Auto Mutt Car Wash, Michael Blend and Bill Schottelkorb, gave the kettles a huge boost with their check for $3,888 last week, from their offer to give $3 for every car wash during the season.

“It was so good to have such great collaboration with companies that go out of their way to support The Salvation Army,” said Major Bill of the Salvation Army. “Once again, we really appreciate the stores that allow us to put the kettles in front of their locations. The smaller communities really came through especially on Community Ring Day with their outstanding community spirit.”

The total raised through the kettles this year was $138,802. The money raised in the kettles is used throughout the year to finance the programs offered by the Salvation Army in the Flathead Valley to assist families and individuals who are going through difficult times, including hot nutritious breakfast and lunches, hot showers, laundry facilities (including supplies), camp scholarships, clothing and household items, school supplies, backpacks and other needs.

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