OSWEGO – The Oswego County Salvation Army kicked off its ‘Red Kettle’ campaign recently prior to the Oswego County Legislature’s November meeting at the County Office Building.
The campaign is the biggest fundraiser for the Salvation Army and its proceeds go toward serving those in need of assistance.
During a brief ceremony, Oswego County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner presented a proclamation in support of the ‘Red Kettle’ campaign.
Before the event, many of the legislatures discreetly stuffed cash into the red kettle on display in the front of the chamber.
“We appreciate the support of the legislators. In the summer of 2012, my wife (Major Kathryn Purvis) and I were asked by the Salvation Army to come to Oswego, as we merged Fulton and Oswego, to oversee the whole county – 1,400 square miles. It’s full of wonderful people; but there is also a great need. The upcoming year will be challenging with increased needs within the county and the success of this campaign is critical to our operations,” Major James Purvis told the legislators.
He and his wife serve as executive director of the Salvation Army of Oswego County.
Because of last December’s heavy snowstorms and bitter cold, many of the Salvation Army kettle volunteers were unable to set up in their communities, said Major Donald Hostetler, divisional commander of the Empire State Division of The Salvation Army. With that type of weather, the shoppers weren’t out either, he added.
The ‘Red Kettle’ campaign is the Oswego County Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser of the year.
This year’s goal of $106,000 is needed to fund the agency’s operating budget.
The soup kitchens and food pantries in Oswego and Fulton, which comprise the largest share of the operating budget, provided more than 100,000 meals to Oswego County families in 2013, Major James Purvis pointed out.
The ‘Red Kettle’ campaign began Nov. 14 and continues through Dec. 24, excluding Thanksgiving Day and Sundays.
Volunteers are “desperately needed,” said Major James Purvis.
“The response from the Oswego County community and area businesses has always been strong and is very much appreciated. All money donated stays within Oswego County to serve those in need of assistance,” he said. “We welcome any individual, family, business, organization or church that can assist us by standing at a kettle location.”
The Salvation Army hopes to have kettles in more than 30 locations across Oswego County.
Not all the kettles will be the traditional stands outside a location. Several county businesses have a counter top red kettle inside.
The Salvation Army relies on money via this fundraiser to carry each center through the year in order to help them help those in need, Major James Purvis said, adding, “With your support, we’ll continue to bring new programs and touch more lives around the county. So thank you again for your support.”
“Thank you for all that you do,” Chairman Gardner said. “Your help in improving the quality of life in our county is very much appreciated.”
According to Major Hostetler, “All of the money raised stays in your area. So, when you make a donation this Christmas, you are really making change happen for your neighbors.”
Those who would like to volunteer to man a kettle stand or any business that is interested in the counter kettle, are asked to call the Salvation Army Kettle Hotline at 315-207-3359 or e-mail [email protected]
About the Empire Division
The Empire State Division of The Salvation Army covers 48 counties in upstate New York and one city in Pennsylvania (Sayre, Pa.).
Our annual Red Kettle Campaign in November and December helps our 42 community and worship centers, service areas in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse and 167 volunteer driven service units raise funds that remain in each community to help those in need.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States.
Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.
82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.
For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org