Time to break out the kettles

MARSHALL – JoAnn Dorman is facing an added challenge in raising money this year for the Salvation Army.

Dorman, who is the Salvation Army Lyon County Kettle Campaign volunteer coordinator, said because Thanksgiving falls on the last week of November this year, that’s one less week to raise much-needed funds.

“It’s a short season with a whole week less of ringing bells,” Dorman said. “Thanksgiving is typically a week sooner, so because it is late this year, we lose that week. The time frame really changes the whole mentality of getting ready.”

Because of this, recruitment of volunteers has an added sense of urgency this holiday season.

“My plan is to try and get as many ringers as I can,” she said. “That’s what brings awareness – having somebody ringing. I’m working on it already.”

One tactic Dorman employed a year ago and will again this year is placing volunteer sign-up cards at each of the Red Kettle locations (County Fair, Hy-Vee, K-mart and Shopko). The cards can be filled out on the spot and dropped into the kettle.

“We actually had a few good volunteers come off of that,” said Dorman, who added that the kettles will be placed at the aforementioned locations in Marshall on Friday. “We already have a few more people on board, which is really exciting, and last year we had a lot of new people come on and ring.”

The kettle campaign raised more than $32,000 last year, money that assisted more than 300 people in Lyon County with lodging, rent, utilities, transportation and medical needs. A portion of the money also assisted the Stuff the Bus program by providing 400 backpacks and $500 worth of school supplies.

Dorman said, as usual, the need for donations is great in the region.

“I talked to the person who distributes the funds that are raised through the bell ringing, and she said the number of homeless continues to rise,” Dorman said. “That’s scary in our part of the country – it’s winter, so that’s a really big issue. It’s constantly taking more money to help some of these people out.”

If interested in volunteering as a bell ringer this year, contact Dorman at 537-4152 or email her at jdorman4@hotmail.com.