12 days of Christmas Spirit
The gauntlet has fallen and now the service clubs of Washington are competing for funds to benefit the community as well as bragging rights by ringing the Salvation Army bell in front of area businesses.
Kiwanis A.M’ers president Harald Gruber issued the challenge early in December to 16 churches, service clubs and other departments to volunteer to take a turn manning the familiar Salvation Army bell and kettles outside of area businesses. He said that funds raised from this will stay in Washington and aid people in need.
“So often when we ask people for support for needy situations in town we ask them to get out their wallet and give us something to support this,” Gruber said. “Here is an opportunity to give and raise funds without having to get out your wallet or your checkbook and yet have a significant impact.”
So far, about $7,200 of the $15,000 goal has been collected.
Gruber said the number of people who need assistance with such things as electrical service, food, rent, utilities and things for their children has grown.
On Black Friday, Nov. 23, Gruber took a turn at the kettle in front of Walmart. He said that he was amazed how many people had given anywhere from a few pennies to $20. He also said people seemed to appreciate the opportunity to help others during the holiday season.
Gruber said this is the first year he has rung the bell for the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army kettle and bell began in 1891 in San Francisco, Calif., and spread throughout the country as well as other countries.
The challenge, Gruber said, is which club can get the most donated during the time they are collecting. He said that the Salvation Army has collected locally for about four years, but it has only been within the last two years that area clubs and churches have given people the chance to sign up to volunteer. He got the idea for the challenge on a recent visit to Detroit, Mich., where he heard of two Kiwanis clubs challenging each other. He thought it would be a good thing to do in Washington.
To volunteer, contact Jim Cluney at 653-3013 or Deb McCreedy at 657-2577.