Salvation Army announces Red Kettle results

MANISTEE — The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign has become synonymous with the winter season, but its purpose lasts year round.

The local chapter — serving Manistee and Benzie counties — recently announced the results of 2017’s installment of the annual fundraiser, which continues to benefit area individuals and families in need.

“That is our single fundraiser for the year,” said Tim Danielson, case worker for the local Salvation Army, “and it’s important because 100 percent of the funds raised go directly to helping families in Manistee and Benzie counties; we don’t send any of it outside our area.

“It helps fund what we provide here locally, like our food pantry, our energy assistance program and other projects like our coat drive and our Christmas and Easter baskets.”

While Salvation Army fell short of its $25,000 goal — raising roughly $11,000 this winter — Danielson said a few new features of the campaign were well received.

“We did have some good success with our new events,” he said.

A pair of friendly competitions were held during Manistee’s annual Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend to encourage donations.

A mascot challenge at the Family Fare ring location featured several mascots from local businesses and schools, ringing in shifts to see which could generate the most donations. And on opposing corners of Maple and River streets’ intersection, a team of University of Michigan alumni and a team of Michigan State University alumni rang for the most donations and bragging rights as well.

“Those events, individually, were pretty successful,” Danielson said, “We received a lot of positive feedback.

“We’re looking to bring those back next year, and we’re hoping to target more corporate-type sponsorships and matching business donations to help with the effort.”

While Danielson said he was grateful for the corps of volunteer bell ringers, the Salvation Army could always use more.


“Without volunteers, we couldn’t do our Red Kettle campaign,” he said. “We’re very thankful to the volunteers who ring for us, but overall volunteer numbers have been down the past couple of years. We certainly would like to see more.”

Family Fare — 1057 Manistee Highway (U.S. 31) in Manistee — was the only full-time ring site between the two counties, Danielson said, while various part-time ring sites were utilized on weekends.

Danielson thanked all the Manistee and Benzie businesses that either hosted ring sites or  housed “counter kettles,” that essentially served as mini donation jars, located near a business’s cash register.

Danielson said children’s winter coats, through the organization’s annual coat drive, are still available to those in need for the duration of winter, and the office is currently taking applications for its Easter meal basket distribution.

“There are 50 (Easter basket applications) available and those are first come, first serve,” he said. “Applicants can just stop by the office and fill one out.”

Danielson said funds are also still available for the Salvation Army’s energy assistance program.

“They are to help qualified people with Consumers Energy, electric, DTE, natural gas, propane or wood fuel,” he said. “We’re still technically in winter, so there’s still a need for energy assistance.”

Danielson also said the Salvation Army is regularly seeking volunteers for various programs or general office work or reception-type duties.

“In order to volunteer, all one has to do is give us a call or stop in at the office,” he said.

The Salvation Army’s local office is headquartered at 471 Water St. in Manistee and can be accessed via the Spruce Street entrance. The office number is (231) 723-6243.


Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or

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