Bell ringers to help those in need PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Saturday, 17 November 2012 09:20
Cpt. Stephanie Larrick, from left, Cpt. Mark Larrick, both with the Salvation Army, and Huntington branch manager Shawn McFarland. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Cpt. Stephanie Larrick, from left, Cpt. Mark Larrick, both with the Salvation Army, and Huntington branch manager Shawn McFarland. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
There are sleigh bells, jingle bells and bells which bring wings to angels.
But the familiar bells of the Salvation Army volunteers bring more than music - they symbolize a huge boost to those in need.
On Friday morning, the Wood County season for the red kettle campaign kicked off with the first official donation of the season from Huntington Bank.
Mark and Stephanie Larrick of the Salvation Army accepted the donation from Shawn McFarland, branch manager at Huntington. The Larricks work out of the North Baltimore office.
Mark Larrick announced the goal for the 2012 campaign of $48,000.
"It's an aggressive goal and we will have a stiff climb, but we know we can do it," Stephanie Larrick said of the goal as she praised the tremendous volunteers who annually staff the various kettles around Bowling Green and North Baltimore.
"The Salvation Army has always done great things for the community," McFarland said. "We believe we should invest in our community so we are proud to give the first donation of the year."
Last year the campaign raised $44,310, a three-year high for the local effort. In 2010, the amount raised was $38,368, with $44,299 collected in 2009.
With those and other funds, the Army served 592 families with 690 children in 2011, including 455 families and 630 people in Bowling Green.
In addition to the cash donation, Stephanie Larrick said bank employees also assist in counting and processing the great volume of coins deposited in the familiar red kettles.
"Last year we were able to help 690 kids in Wood County have a nice Christmas," Mark Larrick said.
The money also goes to assist with utility assistance, housing assistance and summer camp experiences beyond just the Christmas season.
"The need this year is not any less than last year, so we anticipate helping even more people this year," he said.
Kettles will be stationed in Bowling Green at Panera Bread downtown, Kroger, Walgreen's and the Woodland Mall on North Main Street and Walmart and Big Lots on the south end of the city. Great Scot in North Baltimore will also host bell ringers.
Stephanie Larrick appreciates the legion of dedicated volunteers to staff the kettles, but also wants to recruit new volunteers.
"We have some of the most phenomenal volunteers," she said.
She added that many of the volunteers have shared how much fun they have in giving of their time.
"They share how many people they see, many they have not seen in a long time and how much they enjoy their time," she added.
While some volunteers sing or entertain while staffing the kettle, the vast majority are happy just to smile and ring the bells.
To volunteer, call (419) 352-5918.
 

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