100 pennies can mean so much inside a red kettle and other reasons to support the Salvation Army

Tyler Ryan learns about the Salvation Army Red Kettle program, among the other services of the Salvation Army

COLUMBIA SC (WOLO)–We have all walked into a store around Christmas time, and see someone, in various stages of cold, ringing a bell next to a red kettle, but do you know where the change, dollar or five dollar bill goes?

Salvation Army Major Henry Morris, Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Newcomb, and JT Gandolfo joined Tyler Ryan on Good Morning Columbia to talk about the mission that is way beyond some change in a bucket on a cold shopping season.

According to Major Morris, the money that is raised through various Salvation Army programs, including their most iconic, Red Kettle, support the various missions of the organization.  “We work directly with food programs at Transitions,” says Morris, “in addition to buying clothing for children, assisting other non-profit agencies, and even provide relief to victims of the recent hurricanes.”

Morris says that the Red Kettle program starts in the next week, however, kicks into high gear starting on Black Friday, with ringers at over 30 retail locations in the Midlands.  Morris also says that the majority of the nearly $300,000 collected with the program is in dollar bills, pointing out that “yes, a dollar makes a difference.”

“The need for donations is year round,” Newcomb points out, “And it isn’t just money.  We need volunteers, especially around the holidays.”

Gandolfo and his wife, Mary, have been long-term supporters of the Salvation Army, to the point that again this year, they are making a contribution of $100,000 to the organization.  “It doesn’t stop there, Tyler,” Gandolfo says, “There are donation boxes all around town, where unwrapped gifts can be left for children.”  Gandolfo also says that the spirit of giving to the Salvation Army is one he is proud to say extends to the employees of his dealerships, who all spend volunteer hours, and give to the programs.

If you would like more information about the Salvation Army, volunteer to ring a bell, or give in another way, here is contact information:

Website (info on volunteering, programs and services): https://www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/columbia/home/
Volunteer Registration Site (sign up and see dates/locations): https://columbiasa.volunteerfirst.org/Default.asp

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