Bainbridge community rallies for best red kettle bell drive yet

Dec 30, 2016 | by Don Felice

red-kettle-and-bell-bainbridgeBAINBRIDGE, GA (December 30, 2016) – The Salvation Army set a new record this holiday season for the most money raised in Decatur County by their Red Kettle Campaign, according to Director Stacey Warren.

In November, the head of the Salvation Army Christmas Committee Charles Tyson announced that they had set an attainable goal of $50,000 to be raised this year, nearly $15,000 more than last year's total. The staggering number was greeted with hopeful optimism.

The goal was met, and a new record set. The Red Kettle Campaign was able to bring in more than $50,000 this year.
"I give the lord the credit, He did it, and I had a great Christmas committee that was chaired by Charles Tyson," said Warren.

The difference between this year and last year was the involvement of the community. The committee engaged businesses in Bainbridge and got them involved in the drive, according to Warren.

Involvement came in different forms though. Businesses sponsored kettles, or employees would ring bells to help out.

"We had more businesses involved this year in ringing bells which means more individuals so I don't really want to give credit to any one group," said Warren, "Just our community as a whole, because they really showed up and showed up big for us this year."

The community involvement was a change from years past. In years past, the fund raising efforts came as a part of a friendly competition between the civic clubs in Bainbridge. The Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, and the Lions Club were all challenged to out-raise each other. The efforts switched and the experiment paid off in the end.

The money will stay in Decatur County and be put toward various programs that the Salvation Army has and some of the money will go toward the funding of additional programs that the Salvation Army hopes to roll out for 2017.

The Red Kettle Campaign is coming full circle with the additional funds leading to additional programs. The money raised by the community, heading up by volunteers from the community, is being redistributed back into the community.

"Certainly the community came out big in the support of the Salvation Army," said Warren, "so we appreciate them partnering with us and wanting to be a part of doing the most good in our community because their change will make change for our community. The change that was put in the kettle will create change in our community."

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