Anonymous donor to match Salvation Army kettles in Albert Lea

Published 2:15 pm Thursday, December 2, 2021

An anonymous donor is matching all donations given at a Salvation Army kettle this season in Albert Lea, the organization’s leader said this week.

The Albert Lea nonprofit’s goal is to raise $199,000, with $50,000 of that coming from donations at the kettles, Maj. Sandy Hunt said. 

Bell-ringers this year are out at Hy-Vee, Walmart and Bomgaars. 

“If we can exceed our kettle goal, that will be a huge blessing,” Hunt said. 

Several dates for volunteer bell-ringers are still needed at the sites, though the Hy-Vee location is filling up fastest because it is indoors. The Walmart location is typically the hardest to find bell-ringers for because it is outdoors. Hunt said she hoped the mild weather would continue to make it easier for the outdoor ringers.

Bell-ringing starts at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and at 10 a.m. on weekdays, though if someone wants to start earlier on weekdays that could be arranged as well. It continues until 8 p.m. at Hy-Vee and Walmart and until 6 p.m. at Bomgaars. Ringers are not out on Sundays. 

If people want to sign up to ring, they can call the Salvation Army at 373-5710 or go online to registertoring.com

Hunt said the organization’s kettle season is off to a good start, with the kickoff taking place Nov. 21 at the Albert Lea Community Band’s fall concert. 

“We’ve gotten a number of bell-ringers out already,” she said. 

All funds raised through the campaign go to help the organization with myriad assistance programs for the community, including a food pantry and lunch meal, utility assistance, temporary shelter, rental and fuel assistance, disaster relief and budget counseling to help families achieve economic independence. 

A separate match is taking place on Saturday through the Masonic Lodge Temple Western Star Lodge No. 26 of Albert Lea and members of the Albert Lea Shrine Club for all donations given at both the Hy-Vee and Bomgaars locations.