St. Louis, Mo., December 8, 2014 – The Salvation Army has received its first gold coin of the season in a Belleville red kettle. A 1-ounce gold coin worth approximately $1,200 was anonymously dropped into a kettle manned by volunteers from the Fairview Heights Rotary Club over the weekend outside of the Dillard’s located at St. Clair Square Mall.
“Gold coins found in Salvation Army Red Kettles have become a much-anticipated holiday tradition,” said Captain Heath Sells, corps officer of the Belleville Salvation Army. According to Captain Sells, the organization has seen a marked increase in the number of families, individuals and seniors requesting emergency help with rent and utilities this year, which is one of the primary uses for Red Kettle donations. The fundraising also goes towards year-round services including food assistance, programs for children, and other programs that offer hope for families in these economically depressed times.
The tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles dates back more than 15 years, when the first gold coin was deposited in a kettle located at St. Clair Square Mall. In addition to the traditional red kettles, donations to The Salvation Army Tree of Lights Fundraising Campaign can be made online at stlsalvationarmy.org, or texting “TREEOFLIGHTS” (all one word) to 41444 or by calling 800-SAL-ARMY.
Donations to the kettles support The Salvation Army Tree of Lights campaign, which must raise $5.8 million by Jan. 31.
Last year, The Salvation Army provided 35,719 meals to hungry men, women and children, 93,248 nights of shelter to the community’s homeless, 35,533 food pantry boxes to families in need, and 54,096 Christmas toys and gifts in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Across Missouri and Southern Illinois, The Salvation Army provided 453,502 meals to hungry men, women and children, 178,715 nights of shelter to the community’s homeless, 94,985 food pantry boxes to families in need, and 139,779 Christmas toys and gifts.
About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army is an international organization that has been faithfully serving St. Louis since 1881. For more than 130 years, St. Louis residents with no place to go have turned to The Salvation Army for compassion, strength, and encouragement. The Salvation Army serves community members 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year through dozens of different programs and services that are designed to help people attain, or regain, self-sufficiency. For more information, go to www.stlsalvationarmy.org.
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Contact: Aurrice Duke, Communications Director