Every penny counts as Salvation Army kettle campaign kicks off

Renatta Signorini
| Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

The bells that signal the Salvation Army's annual red kettle campaign start pealing today in the Greensburg area.

The Salvation Army chapter in the city hopes to raise $80,000 during this campaign, up $10,000 from last year's goal.

“It goes to fund the many programs that we do,” said Capt. David Rhodes.

Eleven kettles were loaded up this week and dropped off at various sites, including the Greensburg Post Office on South Pennsylvania Avenue and Westmoreland Mall along Route 30 in Hempfield.

Bills and coins stuffed into the kettles support a variety of programs at the local chapter, including a hot lunch program and a food pantry.

The regular-sized red kettles will be supplemented by miniature versions posted at area businesses.

The chapter will attempt to fill the “World's Largest Red Kettle” — an 8-foot model that requires donors to climb a ladder to drop in pennies.

The over- and under-sized kettles are specific to a penny challenge being held along with the regular campaign.

The “World's Largest Red Kettle” will be posted at Sears in Westmoreland Mall on Dec. 1.

The huge kettle, which travels the region, netted $13,000 in one day last year for the local chapter.

The contents of the miniature kettles will be dumped into the large version, Rhodes said.

“It's an extra thing to get the community excited,” he said.

Last year's overall goal of $70,000 was surpassed by $9,000.

It will be the first campaign in Greensburg for the husband-and-wife team of captains David and Pamela Rhodes, who began in July.

They previously headed the Kittanning chapter.

The pair hope to expand youth and family programming with free offerings such as a monthly movie night for families.

“Our goal for this next year is going to be for strengthening families,” Pamela Rhodes said.

“We see the family unit disintegrating.”

They hope to start a “Back to School Bash” here similar to one that was successful in Kittanning.

The organization passes out backpacks filled with school supplies to children, while haircuts and health screenings are offered in an attempt to give students “everything they need to get ready to get back and go to school,” David Rhodes said.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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