Two area Salvation Army kettle ringers doing 29-hour shift
SARATOGA SPRINGS Salvation Army Christmas kettle workers spend much of the holiday season ringing their bells outside businesses and encouraging passersby to donate to their red tins.
But Eric Dworak and William Harwood, two Salvation Army kettle workers, are going above and beyond by ringing their bells outside for 29 hours up until 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The pair is in front of the Walmart in Clifton Park on Route 9 to help raise last-minute funds for The Salvation Army.
“I thought they’d lost their minds, or maybe the snow and cold temperatures had finally gotten to them,” said Amber Boone, one of the corps commanding officers of The Salvation Army in Saratoga Springs said. “But then I realized they were serious.”
The Salvation Army locally depends on the money received from Christmas kettles for much its annual operating budget. Dworak and Harwood hope their 29-hour effort will help close this years funding gap.
“Eric and William understand the importance of what we do, of what that money actually goes to,” Boone said. “They really get it.”
The money raised through the kettles helps to fund the corps’ breakfast program serving the homeless, the after-school program for at-risk youth, the food pantry serving families in need, the clothing room, and many other outreach programs. In addition, it helps to buy Christmas presents for children who otherwise may not receive gifts. This year though, the kettle fundraiser has not been as successful as in years past.
“I hadn’t told the kettle workers that we are at least $30,000 behind what we had made at this time last year. But I think they could sense it,” Boone said. “And they stepped forward with a generous offer of help.”
Dworak and Harwood are very excited about their task, Boone said.
“And we are praying that this brings what we need to help others in need for next year,” she said.
People who would like to donate can drop money into one of the many Christmas kettles in the area or go online at http://www.onlineredkettle.org/teamsaratogasprings.
According to Boone, if they raise $5,000 online, a donor will give an additional $2,500. “There are so many ways this year to help us help others,” she said.