By Christine Peets, Staff Intern
The Salvation Army and its cadre of volunteers have been dedicating their time no matter what the weather conditions to raise $110,000 to meet this season’s Christmas Kettle Fund goal.
Since Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen proclaimed November 15 to December 24 as Oswego County Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Fund Drive Season, kettles have been set up throughout Central Square, Fulton, Hannibal, Oswego, Phoenix, Pulaski and Sandy Creek.
" data-medium-file="https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BELL-RINGERS-300x219.jpg" data-large-file="https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BELL-RINGERS-460x336.jpg" class="size-medium wp-image-132662" alt="Landon and his mother, Amy Elkins, came from Syracuse to support Minetto 4H bell ringers 'doing the most good' for the Salvation Army at Oswego's Wal-Mart. Back from left: Lilly Reese, Kylie Jones, Karen Campo and from right back: Connor Pratt next to his mother Penny Pratt. Front from left is Maya Jones, Katie Vincent and Brittany Kaye. (Photo courtesy of Beth Clark Photography)" src="http://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BELL-RINGERS-300x219.jpg" width="300" height="219" srcset="https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BELL-RINGERS-300x219.jpg 300w, https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BELL-RINGERS-150x109.jpg 150w, https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BELL-RINGERS-460x336.jpg 460w, https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BELL-RINGERS-409x300.jpg 409w, https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BELL-RINGERS.jpg 900w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Landon and his mother, Amy Elkins, came from Syracuse to support Minetto 4H bell ringers ‘doing the most good’ for the Salvation Army at Oswego’s Wal-Mart. Back from left: Lilly Reese, Kylie Jones, Karen Campo and from right back: Connor Pratt next to his mother Penny Pratt. Front from left is Maya Jones, Katie Vincent and Brittany Kaye. (Photo courtesy of Beth Clark Photography)
There are an estimated 50 people volunteering their time to help raise money at this time.
Major James Purvis, Corps’ Officer, said that the weather has severely impacted their kettle goal this season.
They would benefit from an additional 50 to 100 volunteers, he added.
A kettle volunteer said, “It can be very hard standing outside in the cold ringing the bell in this kind of weather. But, it is definitely worth it to know that many people are benefiting from it.”
To date, roughly $10,000 have been raised with less than two weeks to go.
The Christmas Kettle campaign makes up about one-third of the County’s Corps’ annual budget.
Each season, the funds raised are donated to those in need. In many cases, anything from heating bills and activities such as summer camps for children are supported.
Major Purvis recalled a few of the most recent inspiring uses of the kettle funds. A terminally-ill boy was given a guitar he had always wanted and an ill family man was assisted with expenses.
“It is important to remember that all the money contributed in Oswego County stays in Oswego County. The number of people in need has been increasing each year, especially among younger people and young families,” he said.
The kettles are in place Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Anyone wishing to volunteer to stand with one of the Christmas kettles may call 343-6491, or stop at the Citadel at 73 W. Second St., Oswego, between 1 and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.