Put your metal in the kettle | PostIndependent.com

Put your metal in the kettle

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. The ringing bells and red kettles of the Salvation Army are as much a part of the Christmas season as caroling. After all, the season and the kettles are both about giving.”These are the things you do to give back to the community,” said Dave Merritt, a local bell ringer for the Glenwood Springs Lions Club. “It’s part of the responsibility of the club.”Merritt has been a member of the Lions Club, on and off, for the last 15 years. And during that time he’s always volunteered time to tend the kettle for his club.”It’s something that I can do to give back to my community,” he said. And there’s also a little rivalry between the clubs around town to see who collects the most.”Yeah, it’s a little competitive,” Merritt said. Everybody keeps track from year to year and the Salvation Army keeps track of the donations made by each club. Each year the clubs try to raise more than the year before and, of course, try to raise more than the other clubs, Merritt said.

“I think it’s important to help out the less fortunate during the holidays,” said Alex Jaycox who was volunteering with his father, P.J. Jaycox, at Wal-Mart on Friday.Service clubs like the Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary Club have been volunteering their time to help with the kettles for several years. Steve Randol of Parachute, organizer of the red kettles, is thankful for the help that he’s received over the year from the service clubs up and down the valley.”They’ve all been a big help,” Randol said. “Last year we had an exceptional year.”In 2005 the kettles raised around $54,000 for the Salvation Army. The money is used to help buy meals, gifts and clothing for the less fortunate families during the holiday season. With an early Thanksgiving leaving another week in November to raise money, this year Merritt expects to raise more than last year.”The first day always sneaks up on us,” Merritt said. “But with the holiday being early this year it should be a good collection year.”The red kettle tradition started in 1891 and has been a staple of storefronts all across the nation during the holidays. But with the introduction of the Internet the tradition is taking a high-tech turn.

People can now make donations through the online red kettle program. People can participate by hosting a personal, group or business kettle by simply visiting the Web site and signing up to help out. There is no registration fee, and donations are a secure online transaction. For more information regarding the online kettles, visit http://www.onlineredkettle.org. Contact John Gardner: 945-8515, ext. 16604jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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