TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – Bells were heard throughout the city the last two months, but now cheers from volunteers at the Salvation Army are ringing. Officials with the Red Kettle campaign are celebrating Thursday and saying thanks. From generous donations in northwest Ohio this holiday season, the Salvation Army surpassed its goal and collected more money than ever.
Altogether, bell ringers collected more than $600,000, which is $50,000 more than what their original goal was. Even their $550,000 goal was more than what they have collected in years past.
This money makes up more than one-third of the Salvation Army's annual budget for the area. The money goes toward its emergency shelter, soup kitchens, food pantries, utility assistance and youth division programs. The surge came at the tail end of the campaign since they only collected $430,000 as of Dec. 21.
"We made a call out to the community knowing less people would be able to support us. When they heard the sound of the bell, they still put in their loose change. Maybe it was their last dollar bill, I don't know," said Captain Steven Lopes, area services coordinator for the northwest Ohio area services.
The Salvation Army has been in Toledo for the last 125 years. They provide support for year-round assistance to 20,000 households reaching 70,000 individuals, and 10,000 individuals during the holiday season.
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