Helping take a ‘bite’ out of need

January 12, 2019

La PORTE – Some gave coins and some gave cash, and one even gave a tooth, but it all added up to help the Salvation Army of La Porte meet its goal.

Captain Justin Windell, administrator of the Salvation Army, announced Thursday that the organization reached and even surpassed the $61,500 goal of its annual Red Kettle campaign, with $63,556.69 collected.

“We reached our goal for the kettle campaign,” Windell said. “Our overall Christmas Goal, which includes other fundraising efforts – such as our mailing fundraisers – will continue on until the end of January. We do not have a final total on that yet, but we seem to be on track to where we’ve been in the past.

“We want to thank the community of La Porte for all of their support in helping us help others.”

The overall Christmas Campaign goal is $106,500, Windell said.

“People can still donate until the 31st of January. Donations can still be made through salaporte.org; texting SALP to 41444; or bringing a check to our offices at 3240 Monroe Street. All money raised is used to help us throug the year in meeting the needs of individuals and families in our community. This is our biggest fundraiser for the year.”

And while most people donate with cash or checks, Windell said someone dropped a gold tooth into one of the red kettles in La Porte.

“We did receive a gold tooth,” he said. “We have sought advice on how to process it from jewelers, dentists and pawnshops. It has been estimated to be worth around $50, but the gold needs to be separated from the tooth that it is attached to before we can find out the final value.”

He said it is the most unusual thing he’s ever seen placed in a kettle.

“It’s definitely the most interesting thing I’ve ever seen in a bucket,” Windell said. “I’ve been with the Army my whole life and an officer for 11 years, and have never seen anything quite like this. It is great to see the different ways people can contribute and help in their own ways.”

Windell wished to thank all the donors, and the volunteers who made the campaign a success.

“There are some businesses we would like to thank and I hope I don’t forget anyone,” he said.

Those included Horizon Bank, General Insurance Services, Apex Muffler & Brake, Roberto’s, Enprotech Steel Services, American Licorice, Kroger, Al’s Supermarket, Walmart, Kabelin Ace Hardware, Walgreen and the U.S. Post Office.

“These companies contributed by donating goods, monetary funds, hosting a kettle location or allowing their employees to volunteer.

“Some groups that also helped out in similar ways included the Presbyterian Church of La Porte, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, First Church of God, Liberty Bible and the Paarlberg family.”

He also wished to thank the mayor.

“We would also love to thank Mayor Krentz and his wife for participating in our first Battle of the Mayors.”

Krentz, along with family and friends, brought in a total of $2,589.64 on Dec. 20 – “our largest day of bell-ringing for the season, even beating Christmas Eve,” Windell said

He has a special place in his heart for all the volunteers.

“We want to thank all of those who volunteered through our registertoring.com website that allowed people to easily sign up.

“We had a number of great individuals, some of whom even volunteered on a daily basis in order to help us reach our goal, and we couldn’t have been as successful as we were without their dedication and support.

“Every bell that was rung this Christmas season will help provide hope to those in need in the coming year. Without the help and dedication of the many bell-ringers, those bells would have been silent.”

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