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Kettle ringing supports excellent cause

For more than a century, The Salvation Army has made wishes come true for the less fortunate men, women and children in our community over the holidays and all year-round.

As I walked into the grocery story this last weekend to purchase groceries for the Thanksgiving holiday, I was taken aback in a very good way by the sound of that familiar bell that you hear ring as the kickoff for the holiday season. The bell ringing is synonymous with the annual Salvation Army Kettle fundraising campaign, with proceeds translating into services that change the lives of many people who might otherwise go without.

A number of local individuals volunteer their time and effort to this valuable cause, including West Fargo Fire Chief Roy Schatschneider, a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board.

Schatschneider said the goal each year is to secure as many volunteers as possible. "The money saved by not having to pay individuals to ring the bell means more money for the services the Salvation Army provides."

Each year board members are challenged to recruit volunteers for one particular site to ring the bell for donations on Fridays and Saturdays. He said the response this year from volunteers "has been just excellent. It was easier this year. The Salvation Army gets the word out so well. Captain Adam (Moore) has a special way of communicating and is able to get people to come out. Our volunteers are very happy to be a part of this. They (the Salvation Army) are a very important group of responders. They help victims at fires and are also there to help our firefighters with their rehab efforts. This is just a very small way of paying them back."

Once again, firefighters from the West Fargo volunteer squad, along with officials from several local entities will be pitching in with the bell ringing. Schatschneider said he has one day left to be filled, Friday, Dec. 21. Anyone wishing to donate their time can give him a call at the Fire Department at 433-5380.

With 28 Kettle Campaign sites across the entire metro area, volunteers are also still needed to man the Monday through Thursday effort at various locations. Anyone interested in helping out at any of these sites is encouraged to contact Gerri Leach at the Salvation Army at 356-2689. More information can be obtained by calling (701) 232-5565 or if you'd like to mail in a donation, that may be completed by addressing it to The Salvation Army, 304 Roberts St. Fargo, ND 58102.

So when you are out and about this holiday season and hear that familiar resounding ring, dig deep into those pockets or wallet and make a concerted effort to give. Whatever you can donate will go a long way in positively affecting a life.