By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Christmas is right around the corner and the Salvation Army still hopes to help many in need.
The Derry organization hasn’t reached its $200,000 goal, raising only about half that amount to help families and individuals in the area who are struggling.
“Our kettle numbers are really low,” Lt. Kiley Williams said.
To help keep donations coming in, the Salvation Army will participate in a 24-hour kettle challenge on Dec. 20 at the Derry Wal-Mart on Ashleigh Drive.
Bell ringers will also be staffing kettles all over New England that day, part of the “Keep the Kettle Boiling” campaign.
The red kettle has been a longstanding tradition with the Salvation Army during the holiday season. It dates back more than 100 years, serving as a major source of revenue for the organization.
There are more than 300 kettles scattered around the region. The event in Derry will go to support local efforts.
“The bell-ringing event will help promote the mission of the Salvation Army, elevate awareness for the Red Kettle Campaign, and raise donations to help people in need,” Lt. Chris Williams said. “For this event, we are looking to raise $2,500 at this one kettle during that time span.”
People can also commit to make a donation amount per hour for those who stand ringing the bells. Money is needed to help support the 280 children and more than 130 families the Salvation Army serves in Derry, Londonderry and Windham, providing food, clothing and holiday meals and gifts.
Another program needing help is the Salvation Army’s Angel Tag program. Tags hang on trees around the community bearing age, gender and the wish list of a child. Donors take a tag and then buy the items on the list.
Help is not just at the holidays. The Salvation Army also offers a summer mobile feeding program, back-to-school supplies for children, a Kids Supper Club, and a food panty and clothing closet for the community.
They also help in emergency response situations during fires, storms and other community disasters.
Call 434-7790 or visit salvationarmy.org to help this season.