By Kim Walter
While the Front Royal/Warren County Salvation Army exceeded its Red Kettle campaign goal of $60,000, the chapter is still looking for donations to reach the $100,000 mark by the end of the year.
The bell ringing brought in $65,000 this holiday season, according to Lt. Pradeep Ramaji, compared to $61,000 last year. However, with the help of separate monetary donations, the chapter is just $950 short of bringing in $100,000.
"It's not bad," Ramaji said Friday. "We're almost there."
This time last year, the holiday season donation total was at $104,000, which helped thousands of people in the Front Royal/Warren County community. About $79,000 was returned to the community through financial and housing assistance.
"This money we raise helps throughout the year in giving back to the community," Ramaji said.
Raised funds will mostly go toward those people in crisis, for instance, those who have lost employment or who are between jobs, he added.
The campaign was made possible through less than 50 volunteers who rang bells at five locations around Front Royal. Ramaji said the kettles at the Walmart location received the most donations.
Aside from the red buckets, the local chapter found other ways to give back to the community during the holiday.
Ramaji said on Dec. 19 and 20, around 400 children received toys, and 10,000 pounds of food were delivered for Christmas dinner. Different food drives were held at various businesses and schools to collect the non-perishable food items.
Additionally, 140 food boxes were distributed for Thanksgiving.
"We want to thank everyone who contributed to this fundraising campaign," Ramaji said. "Their support, through volunteered time and donating funds and food, is a great help to their neighbors in this community."
To contribute during the last few days of 2012 to help bring the holiday fundraising total to $100,000, call the Front Royal/Warren County Salvation Army at 540-635-4020 or visit the office at 357 Cloud St.
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or firstname.lastname@example.org