More than a kettle and bell

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13, King Soopers stepped in to help for the fifth year in a row for the annual Big Ring event, where its employees ring the bells for a few hours in the afternoon at their store locations.

The donations fund programs such as the local food pantry, which operates year-round.

"If your employer gives out ham and turkeys, that's something you may not be able to use, that's something we'd be more than grateful to take those from you".

If the Salvation Army doesn't reach its $80,000 fundraising goal by Christmas Eve, local officers may have trouble maintaining programs throughout the next year.

"This is one of the most generous communities I have ever seen", Whitaker said.

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"Our food bank and soup van are still seeing demands for their services". Brian Burkett, corps commander of the Topeka Salvation Army, on Thursday morning. "Patrons include families with young children and seniors", she said. For a two-hour span, the group sang and received donations for the Salvation Army, which is reporting lower numbers for donations this season.

The total dollar amount raised as of December 9th is $120,681.85, which is $9,000 off last year's total for the same time.

Gifts filled up cars, vans and trucks that were lined up Wednesday at the Salvation Army church on Paul Street and bound for Angel Tree children.

The Salvation Army is now 20 percent down in donations from 2016. These funds will be used in Thunder Bay. Just the worry and the stress of, 'how am I going to provide for them for Christmas?' To see that load come off of them when they pick up their bags, I think that's the best part for me.

"When you give to the salvation army red kettle in Lafayette, you're giving directly to the Salvation Army of Lafayette". For more information about volunteering, call Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Harris at 717-848-2364.

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