Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Double your Red Kettle donations this Saturday in Rice County December 1, 2017

 

WHEN MARION CALLED to remind Randy and me of our Salvation Army bell-ringing slot this Saturday, she also shared good news. Every dollar donated to the Rice County Red Kettle Campaign on December 2 will be matched up to $2,500. How generous is that?

An anonymous donor from Faribault is offering the match, a move I hope encourages people to give even more generously to a program focused on neighbors helping neighbors.

The gift repeats on December 16 with a maximum $5,000 match from another anonymous Faribault donor, according to Gina Little who co-chairs the county campaign with her husband, Ed.

I’m confident folks can reach those max matches, moving toward the $50,000 Red Kettle goal in Rice County.

 

Randy and I will be at this location outside Walmart on Saturday morning ringing bells. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

Saturday morning Randy and I will station ourselves at the Walmart north location to accept donations. We’re happy to once again volunteer with our church, Trinity Lutheran. Others from Trinity will ring at Walmart south, HyVee and Fareway in Faribault. Bell ringers are also on-site in Northfield and Lonsdale.

The weather forecast for Saturday looks to be a balmy 40-some degrees, ideal conditions for us as we stand outdoors to ring bells, greet and thank people. In past years we’ve worked in temps as low as zero. But, dressed appropriately for conditions, we managed.

 

Me, ringing bells for the Salvation Army in the past. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

Ringing bells proves a joyful and humbling experience as we’ve witnessed gratitude, heard stories and observed parents teaching their children the joy of giving. I always come with a bag of Hershey kisses for the little ones, depositing a kiss in their tiny palms after they’ve pushed coins or bills into the kettle slot.

Eighty-eight percent of the donated monies stay right here in my county and go towards emergency services (gas vouchers, food, shelter, etc.), a heating program, “Shop with a Cop,” sending kids to a Salvation Army camp in northern Minnesota and a visiting program with the elderly in care facilities.

 

Two girls give to the Salvation Army during a past campaign. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

The need is great. Last year the Rice County Red Kettle Campaign fell short of its $50,000 goal with $43,000 raised. That meant cutting back on some services. But this year, especially with those $2,500 and $5,000 matches, I think we’re capable here in Rice County of reaching the $50,000 goal.

Please consider giving generously this Saturday and again on December 16 to push county-wide giving to those generous matches.

 

A friend rings bells at Walmart during a previous holiday season. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

And consider, too, signing up to ring bells. Call (507) 334-0639 or email faribaultbellringer at gmail.com, northfieldbellringer at gmail.com or lonsdalebellringer at gmail.com depending on where you wish to ring in Rice County.

You have the power to help your neighbor in this season of giving.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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12 Responses to “Double your Red Kettle donations this Saturday in Rice County”

  1. Almost Iowa Says:

    Reminder: break a $20, $10 or $5 into $1s to have on hand for bell ringers. Sure, it’s okay to give larger bills 🙂 but it is more fun to bring a smile to every bell ringer you come across this season.

  2. Jackie Says:

    Tis the season for bell ringing, You and Randy will have good weather this year, I’m glad for that!. Rick, I and the grands will again ring bells but I thought I’d wait a few more weeks, we are looking forward to this tradition. Have fun…. happy bell ringing 🙂

  3. Praying the red kettle meets its goals. It’s one of my favorite ways of giving every year. I love the anonymous givers!

  4. Valerie Says:

    Have a great time. You inspired me to check it out.

    • We ended up ringing bells for four hours on Saturday given the lack of volunteers. As always, it was a joyful experience, albeit tiring for that length of time. I look forward to hearing about your bell ringing experience.

  5. —Love how you “Give Back,” dear Audrey!

    MERRY Christmas!! xxx

  6. This is great. My kids really enjoy donating each year. I like to have them do it the same day we let them shop for each other.


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