Kiwanians Ring Bells for Red Kettles
Every year Kingsport Kiwanians volunteer to ring the bells for the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign. The club selects a Saturday in mid December to man the Red Kettle stands at several local businesses, with usually two members on a 2 hour shift. This year, club members and Key Clubbers from Sullivan South manned the Kettles at Wal-Mart, W Stone Drive, Wal-Mart, Ft Henry Dr; and Wal-Mart, Lynn Garden Drive. These are all very busy stores just before Christmas. From 10 am to 6 pm, Kiwanians and Key Clubbers smile at approaching shoppers, wish them Merry Christmas and ring their bells. Many shoppers stop to put some coins in the Red Kettle. Many stuff paper money into the Kettles until they almost burst. This year, forty plus volunteers manned the stands.
In addition to ringing the Bells, club members take up donations at several club meetings before their bell ringing date. This year, the club gave over $600 to the Salvation Army for the Red Kettle campaign. The money collected in the Kettles is used to fund a significant share of the Army's local service work. The Salvation Army provides temporary shelter to men, women and veterans. They feed the hungry at noon from Monday through Saturday and at supper on Sunday. They also provide one-time help with utility bills or rent to keep families in their homes. Counseling and referral services are also provided to help families get back on track. All of this is done in a very cost-effective manner which stretches out the dollars received from the community. A very visible service of the local Salvation Army is the Angel Tree project. Children whose families can not afford Christmas gifts have their names and clothing sizes placed on a Christmas Tree in Kingsport Town Center. The public is encouraged to adopt an Angel, buying a toy and clothing for the child or donating money for volunteers to do the shopping. Hundreds of Angels are adopted each Christmas.