Salvation Army kicks off annual red kettle drive

Submitted photo Salvation Army East Liverpool Corp lieutenants Andrew and Lydia Behr welcomed guests to the second annual red kettle kickoff breakfast Friday morning to start the Christmas giving season.

EAST LIVERPOOL — The local Salvation Army kicked off the Christmas giving season Friday morning during its second annual red kettle breakfast where supporters raised $7,000 for those in need of assistance.

Silver tier donors giving between $500 and $999 were Rotary of Calcutta and Hancock County Savings Bank while Bronze tier donor giving between $250 and $499 was MDH Investment Management Inc., as well as other donors who contributed, according to Lt. Lydia Behr and Lt. Andrew Behr of the Salvation Army.

The familiar red kettles for donations will be posted throughout the area beginning on Nov. 23, Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, with hopes of raising $50,000 this year, topping last year’s $40,000, according to the Behrs, who said this would allow the Salvation Army to help even more local residents with a variety of needs.

Most of the funds goes toward the food pantry located at the local SA, while some is used for a shoe drive, coat giveaway, monthly soup kitchen and other services.

The Salvation Army also provides Thanksgiving food and Christmas food and toys each year, and this year 275 families have registered for that assistance, with the annual Angel Tree holding the names of 330 children who need clothing, outware and Christmas gifts, which the Behrs said is 90 more than last year.

Although there is an increase in need, Lt. Lydia said they see that as God’s blessing, allowing them to an opportunity to provide help to more people.

Sign-ups for the holiday assistance have concluded for this year, having been taken in October.

Lt. Lydia said volunteers are needed to man the red kettles, saying they will work with the amount of time people have to spend, so t they can volunteer a couple hours or all day. Some locations have kettles indoors for those who cannot man them outside.

“I’m working on the kettle schedule now,” Lt. Lydia said, encouraging those willing to volunteer to either stop in at the SA at 413 East Fourth Street or call her at 330-385-2086 to be scheduled.

Also still needed are those willing to choose a child’s name from the Angel Tree to provide Christmas items, and those interested can also stop in at the SA or call.

Sponsors for Friday’s breakfast were Tri-State Glass LLC and Moore Trucking Oil and Gas LLC, and the Behrs said their sponsors make the annual campaign possible.