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Salvation Army Kettle Campaign Begins

LAWTON Okla_ The holidays are right around the corner. Friday, a staple for the holiday season, Salvation Army bell ringers, took their posts to stores across Lawton.

The sound of bells filled the air as the Salvation Army kicked off their annual kettle campaign. Lawton Mayor Fred Fitch and other community partners came together to jump start the organization's largest fundraiser.

Salvation Army volunteers said donations have been pouring in all day, and it is something they are thankful for. Most people recognize the red kettles, but the Salvation Army wants people to understand where every penny donated goes: directly back into the Lawton community to help people in need. That need is proving to be quite large this year.

"This does not stop. It is an every day thing," Salvation Army Lieutenant Israel Roseno said.

The red kettle, the ringing bell, and the smiling face of a volunteer are just as familiar as Santa Claus during holiday season, but the money collected during the short holiday months funds the organization that gives year round.

"This is what funds our program throughout the year," Roseno said. "The more money we raise, the more people that we will be able to help throughout the year."

In Lawton, the Salvation Army is already making quite the impact. With between 15-20 people in its shelter, more than 360 families on its angel tree, 60 kids in the boys and girls club, and people coming in every day for food and utility assistance, the organization touches every corner of the city. They say for them, it's not enough.

"Our goal is really to expand our services and offer quality service and to teach the community not to become dependent of us, but they can look at the Salvation Army as a place that they can get a positive impact on their own lives," Roseno said.

That's why it's so important to raise more money this year: to help more people.

Lawton Mayor Fred Fitch is calling on the people of Lawton to give.

"This time of year is a time that we are ever so thankful for all the things that we do have," Fitch said. "We need to keep in mind that there are a lot of people that don't, and it's everything we can do to help and provide for them."

That's especially true when it could mean a better life and services for Lawton families when the need arises.

"Maybe they can get back on their feet and be able to get their job, pay their bills, and after that go on with their lives," Roseno said.

The Salvation Army hopes to raise $120,000 this year. There are seven kettle stations around Lawton. After Thanksgiving, there will be close to 20 locations. Most of them will be manned by volunteers who are giving their time to support a cause they believe in.

The Salvation Army depends heavily on volunteers to ring the bell at its various locations. It's not too late for you or your business to get involved. You can sign-up by calling 580-355-1802.

 

 

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