SIDNEY – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … at The Salvation Army. October through December takes the calm and steady work of The Salvation Army and turns it into a bustling workshop. During this time The Salvation Army is taking applications for the Christmas Clearinghouse; embarking on The Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser, the Red Kettle Effort; and spreading Christmas cheer everywhere they go.
The Salvation Army’s Christmas Clearinghouse provides Christmas gifts and food to families and senior citizens across Shelby County. Every year they rely on the generous hearts of their fellow Shelby County residents to help make Christmas special. Businesses and organizations across Shelby County participate in making Christmas special by hosting Angel Trees, Food Drives, and Toy Drives. Angel Trees are located across Shelby County at Lee’s Chicken, Shoe Sensation, Bob Evans, Sidney Family Dollar, Walmart and Burkes.
While many business host toy drives for their employees to participate in, The Salvation Army and Chainer’s Field of Screams host their annual Stuff-the-Bus toy drive on the first Friday in December at Sidney’s Walmart from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The day is filled with fun activities that are streamed live on The Salvation Army’s Facebook page. The much-anticipated Battle of the Mascots takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. This year there are some new mascots joining the battle. Who will collect the most toys and win the coveted trophy?
Every 3 years, The Salvation Army’s Christmas Clearinghouse provides a brand-new bike for every child registered. This is thanks to the generous work and donation of Mark’s Bikes Drive. If you would like to help make Mark’s Bike Drive a success for Shelby County; donations may be made online at www.MarksBikeDrive.org or by check payable to Mark’s Bike Drive, 429 N. Main St., Piqua, OH 45356.
The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Effort is not only the largest fundraiser that determines the programs and services they can offer to Shelby County, but it is also their longest running fundraiser. This year’s Red Kettle Effort consumes 1,356 hours. Bell ringing began at Sidney Foodtown on Nov. 12 and will begin at Walmart on Nov. 20 and Kroger on Nov. 26. Currently The Salvation Army has roughly 300 hours of Bell Ringing covered buy volunteers. That leaves close to 1,000 hours of bell ringing open and needed someone to give generously of their time. Volunteers can sign-up to ring for 1 hour or more on one day or multiple days.
Individuals or groups interesting in ringing the bell can sign-up online at savolunteer.org or by calling or texting Capt. Katie Mayes at 603-552-0641. If you would like more information about the Red Kettle Effort, call or text Mayes.
Maybe standing in the cold ringing the bell is not your thing. Did you know The Salvation Army has an opportunity for you to help too? Kettle Wars is a fun and competitive way for you to care for your community.
The first virtual kettle created this year is “Sharon’s School of Dance/Sidney Dance Company”. They created three teams to compete against each other. Pretty sweet, but what’s even sweeter is how excited they are for this.
Create a virtual kettle today at https://salarmy.us/sidneyredkettle! It only takes about 5 minutes. Then, you can begin sharing your kettle with friends, family, church, team, club and even your enemies. Prize packs for the champs in the “kids” and “business” arenas are in the works.
Do you have a generous heart this Christmas? How can you help make Christmas special for Shelby County? Donate the fixings for a Christmas dinner. Purchase gifts for a child or senior from an Angel Tree. Donate toys at Stuff-the-Bus. Sign-up to Ring the Bell at one of the various Kettle locations. Set-up an online Red Kettle and join the war.