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Red Kettle Campaign makes final holiday push

Allison Hull of Crystal Lake volunteers for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign Tuesday at the Jewel on Route 14. (Lawerence Synett/Tribune)

Allison Hull of Crystal Lake volunteers for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign Tuesday at the Jewel on Route 14. (Lawerence Synett/Tribune)

Officials from the Salvation Army of McHenry County remain optimistic they can reach the goal of raising $150,000 in donations through their annual Red Kettle Campaign with less than a week to go.

Residents have donated more than $89,500 at the 30 kettle sites throughout the county as of Monday, according to Linda Hunter, Salvation Army spokeswoman. That number does not include online or mail-in donations.

Donations are down this year compared to previous years.

“The economy is definitely playing a role,” Hunter said. “People who may have put in $5 may only put in $1. We are optimistic and nervous at the same time that we can reach our goal.”

Adding to the donations have been two gold coins and a silver bar. An American Eagle 1-ounce gold coin was placed Dec. 10 in a kettle at a Jewel in Cary. A .25-ounce Canadian gold coin was then donated Saturday at a Dominick’s in Crystal Lake, the same day a 1-ounce silver bar was left in a kettle at Wal-Mart in Crystal Lake.

Typically, the campaign sees one or two special donations like gold coins of silver bars, Hunter said, adding that Crystal Lake was the first Salvation Army location ever to receive a gold coin in the 1980s.

Money raised during the campaign stays within the county, and is used to pay for programs and services at the Salvation Army of McHenry County.

The group has seen a 10 to 15 percent increase in the number of residents they served this past year, placing more of an importance on donations, Hunter said.

“Making our goal definitely has an impact,” she said. “People are finding themselves in a position where they need help more no than ever.”

With the campaign ending Saturday, volunteers are still needed to man the kettles.

To make a donation, visit www.salarmycl.org or text “WISEMEN” to 80888. To volunteer, call 815-455-2769.

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