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Gold coin again donated during Red Kettle effort

By Staff | Dec 3, 2009

For the fourth year in a row a gold coin was placed into one of The Salvation Army’s collection kettles.
According to The Salvation Army, kettle volunteers and workers grow excited each year to find out when and where the anonymous donor will place the $20 Liberty Eagle coin with a small label stating, “In Memory of Mimi.”
“We are truly amazed at this continued loving act of kindness,” said Maj. Art Penhale, corp officer in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties, in a prepared statement. “Whoever this generous donor is, we want them to know how grateful we are and that this generosity will spread through to so many needy families and children.”
The Red Kettle campaign collects funding to support the Christmas Cheer program, where families register to go holiday shopping at The Salvation Army’s local warehouse. It also goes toward furnishing local families with enough supplies for a turkey dinner.
Jacquie Williams, media specialist with The Salvation Army, said there are 70 Red Kettle sites, an increase from approximately 60 sites in 2008.
Even with the increase in sites, the organization has only reached 23 percent of its 2009 goal and the kettle program is running on a $10,000 deficit. Penhale said they are hoping to collect $600,000 for the community this season, a 10 percent increase from 2008.
The organization’s goal has increased to accommodate more people seeking help during the holidays. The Salvation Army has experienced a 45 percent increase in local need. Fifty percent of the families who signed up this year are asking for help for the first time.
“We are praying they will drop an extra dollar or two in during the remaining days, so we can give to those who are in need this holiday season,” he said.
Volunteers are still being accepted for the Red Kettle campaign until it ends Dec. 24. Because of assistance from the community, The Salvation Army gave out 40,000 gifts and 5,700 Christmas food baskets in 2008.
To volunteer for The Salvation Army, call 278-1551.