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Salvation Army sets $100,000 goal for Red Kettle Campaign that begins Nov. 24

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Salvation Army bell ringers are counting on the generosity of area shoppers to meet the growing needs of people in the community.

Volunteer ringers have already taken their spots in front of 11 retail establishments across St. Croix County in anticipation of the holiday rush. The annual Red Kettle Campaign runs from Nov. 24-Dec. 24.

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The volunteers face an interesting challenge this year with demand for Salvation Army services up and people's financial resources down.

According to Duana Bremer, director of the Salvation Army of St. Croix County, the goal is to raise $100,000 this holiday season through people's donation of their pocket change. Eighty-nine percent of all money raised during the Red Kettle Campaign in St. Croix County stays in the county to assist those who live here.

Last year, $92,000 was raised during the holiday season and that was not enough to meet the demand for services from people in need.

Bremer said she expects demand for Salvation Army services to be even more this coming year.

"We've been getting more calls for rent and utility assistance than last year at this time," she said. "Our demand is increasing tremendously."

The Salvation Army's homeless shelter in Somerset, called Grace Place, also continues to be filled to capacity as families struggle, Bremer noted.

Apart from rent and utility assistance, the Salvation Army in St. Croix County also helps people in need pay for transportation and medication.

The demand for all such services has been on the rise since the national economy has soured.

The key to meeting its campaign goals, Bremer said volunteer ringers are needed to man each of the kettle sites in the region.

"If we did not have the people volunteering to ring, we would not be able to help as many people in the community," she said.

Several churches and civic organizations have stepped up to fill volunteer slots, and a number of dedicated individuals have also signed up to help out.

"But we absolutely need more volunteers at each of the sites," she said. "On any given day, we could use 100 volunteer ringers across the county."

Anyone wishing to volunteer can call site coordinators in their communities.

Bremer said the critical days for volunteers to ring the bell are weekends (Thursday through Sunday), although she said it would be great to have enough volunteers to help out during the entire week.

"We still have lots of slots to fill," she said.

Following is a list of sites where the Red Kettle Campaign will be conducted. Call the listed phone numbers for more information or to sign up.

Hudson

County Market, Family Fresh, Wal-Mart and Papa Murphy's.

Contact Amy at (715) 554-7127.

Somerset

Econo Foods.

Contact Liz at (715) 222-5103.

Roberts

Roberts Grocery.

Call Kelly Liddle at (715) 425-8369.

New Richmond

Family Fresh and Wal-Mart.

Contact Liz at (715) 222-5103.

Baldwin

Nilssen's Super Valu and Gregerson's Hardware.

Contact Claire at 715) 684-2465.

Glenwood City

Ormsons Super Valu.

Contact (715) 247-2944.

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