Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids Pushes for Donations to Meet Goal

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

Salvation Army bell ringer Warren of Cedar Rapids sings as he rings a bell in front of the Walmart SuperCenter on Blairs Ferry Road Wednesday Dec. 15, 2010 in Cedar Rapids. Warren sang different songs to customers in order to raise awareness of the Salvation Army. (Lauren DeWitt/ SourceMedia Group News)

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By Rachel Begle

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Salvation Army is pushing for more donations so it can meet its goal as the campaign starts to wind down.

Bell ringers have surpassed the halfway point and have brought in about half of the organization’s 2012 goal of $755,000. The total for kettles in Linn County as of Tuesday at 8 a.m. was $376,499.29.

“We have two weeks left to make our goal," Salvation Army Lt. Michael Sjogren said. "We feel good about it, but we also need some extra help, especially with volunteering at the red kettles."

Mother Nature has been mostly kind to those ringing this year, bringing mild temperatures. This past weekend, however, volunteers experienced a cold blow.

“It is colder standing outside, but there’s also that spirit of Christmas that’s happening,” Lt. Sjogren said.

Roger Richards, of Cedar Rapids, plays his trombone around town at bell ringing locations. He's piping out holiday favorites to help people enjoy the season and to give a little more attention to the campaign.

“When we feel good, we want to reach out,” Richards said.

The Salvation Army encourages any volunteers with a talent, or even a cute pet, to ring bells. Lt. Sjogren said it is a fun way to double the amount of money that typically goes into the kettle during a two hour shift.

Many know there’s still a lot of work to be done before the kettle campaign wraps up on Dec. 24.

“Obviously we have a ways to go to get the other half that we plan to raise this Christmas season,” Salvation Army Advisory Board Member Scott Drzycimski said.

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