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Red Kettle campaign off to slow start

Bell ringers are needed in order for the Salvation Army to meet its fundraising goal.

With less than one month to go until Christmas, the Salvation Army in St. Croix County is in need of a lot of help.

The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign in St. Croix County has raised approximately $18,000 so far this campaign. According to Duana Bremer, local Salvation Army director, the organization needs to raise $100,000 in St. Croix County to meet the needs of individuals and families in the community.

"Did you know that the Salvation Army helps to provide local individuals and families in need and that 89 percent of the dollars you donate during the Red Kettle Campaign, stay in St. Croix County to help your friends and neighbors," she said. "This year has been a very tough economic year. Many people have not found work yet and are struggling to make ends meet. Many who have never sought help before are suddenly looking for help. Imagine, this could be someone you know, who for the first time will seek help this year and they may seek it from the Salvation Army."

The Salvation Army provides rent assistance, utilities, transportation and medical assistance to families and individuals in need.

The Salvation Army also provides milk coupons to the food pantries in the county that are redeemable at a local merchant along with the highly utilized "Happy Kids Backpack Program," which provides more than 175 needy families throughout the county with a backpack full of food once a week.

The Salvation Army in St. Croix County also operates one mass shelter in Somerset called Grace Place. Currently the home is housing 24 individuals and there is always a waiting list. There is also a family shelter located in Osceola that can provide housing for one family.

"During the Christmas season many will look for ways to give," Bremer said. "The Salvation Army is a perfect opportunity to give to those in need, while being assured that your dollars will stay in the community. If the Salvation Army is unable to raise the funds needed, there will not be enough funds to help those who are in the most need. Not just during Christmas but, throughout the year."

If you are unable to get to a Red Kettle this Holiday Season, donors can mail tax deductible donations to: Salvation Army, 203 Church Hill Rd., Somerset, WI 54025. If you are able to volunteer a couple hours of your time during the Holiday season, the Salvation Army is currently seeking help for bell ringers. If you are interested in helping in this way contact 715-485-1221 to set up a time to ring or sign up on line by going to ring