BEDFORD — Spare change and dollar bills dropped in Salvation Army Red Kettles this past Christmas season added up in big ways for the Salvation Army branches in Lawrence and Orange counties.
In Lawrence County, the campaign raised more than $34,000, surpassing the goal of $30,000.
"We had more people volunteering at the kettles and that really helps," said Jim McCreery, Salvation Army volunteer. "It was a good year."
The Salvation Army Red Kettle effort in Orange County raised nearly $7,000 during the 2021 Christmas season.
Treasurer Beverly Lashbrooks said the total donated was $6,761.85.
"I want to thank all the volunteers, churches, businesses and everyone that supported the Red Kettle campaign," Lashbrooks said. "We had a lot of good volunteers."
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The funds are used to assist those in need throughout the year. McCreery said he's already seeing a lot of requests for help.
"The need is extremely high. I'm seeing a lot of evictions and a lot of people are needing help with utility bills," he said. "Normally we have five to seven people a month who need help, I've already had probably 12 to 15."
McCreery said the Salvation Army works with other agencies and nonprofits to assist people with rent before the eviction process begins.
Lashbrooks said Orange County Salvation Army works with churches and the Orange County Ministerial Association to provide assistance.
"We don't want anyone to go without," Lashbrooks said.
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McCreery said the Salvation Army also served as a clearinghouse for groups that provide gifts to children at Christmas. The Salvation Army also has the Angel Tree program, which provides Christmas gifts to kids.
A total of 566 children and 214 families were helped by Salvation Army and other groups such as Hoosier Uplands, Hoosier Hills Credit Union and Bedford Federal.
"That was way up from last year," he said. "The Salvation Army didn't do all those, but that's how many went through us as a clearinghouse. I appreciate all the people who helped this year."
To request help in Lawrence County, call 812-583-1231.
To request help in Orange County, contact a church, the ministerial association or Lashbrooks at 812-525-8097.
Contact Times-Mail Staff Writer Carol Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-277-7252.
This article originally appeared on The Times-Mail: Salvation Army Red Kettles bring in needed funds