Local Salvation Army Red Kettle drive is underway

Photo by Ted Lutz — The Salvation Army Red Kettle drive is underway in Kane and Mt. Jewett. Tim Slater, center, of Kane make a donation at one of the Red Kettle locations. The volunteers are Linda Hearst, left, and her great-granddaughter, Jenyka Hearst, right. Jenyka is a fifth-grade student at the Kane Elementary School. Volunteers are needed for the Christmas-time Red Kettle drive. Contact any local church to volunteer. 
Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

The annual Salvation Army Red Kettle drive is underway in Kane and Mt. Jewett.
Volunteers in Kane are ringing the familiar bells at red kettles, set up near the entrances at Tops supermarket, Save-A-Lot supermarket and Country Fair.
The Kane Ministerial Association, an organization of local church clergy, sponsors the Salvation Army, Red Kettle Drive. 
More volunteers are desperately needed to man the red kettles at various shifts. Contact any local church to volunteer as a bell-ringer. 
The Red Kettle Drive runs every Friday and Saturday during the Christmas season.
Virtually all of the money raised in the Red Kettle collections stays in Kane to assist needy families.
Michelle Palmer, executive director of the Kane Area Community Center, said the “Red Kettle drive is extremely vital for Kane area families who are struggling" to make ends meet.
Palmer serves on the local Red Kettle board with the Rev. Bruce Kumher, who is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Kane, and Michelle Costanzo of Kane.
Palmer said the money raised in Kane by the Red Kettle Christmas-time drive goes into a fund to help needy families during emergency situations. She said some families face utility shutoffs. Others may need help with rent or groceries.
"Every case is different," Palmer said.
Families in need must complete an application with Palmer at the community center. If the application is approved, the Red Kettle board makes the payment to the vendor. In no case does the board hand out cash directly to the applicant, Palmer said.
She expects that the Red Kettle fund this year will help between 40 and 50 families.
"We're here to help families with emergencies when there's no other place for them to go,"Palmer said in reference to the importance of the Salvation Army Red Kettle drive.