Donations have been steadily adding up at the Salvation Army Red Kettle in Williamson. As of Dec. 10, $1,800 had been donated. In 2011, shoppers contributed $4,202 to the kettle that is set up outside of Breen’s IGA on Route 104 in Williamson. All money placed in the kettle supports only Williamson residents.

Donations have been steadily adding up at the Salvation Army Red Kettle in Williamson. As of Dec. 10, $1,800 had been donated. In 2011, shoppers contributed $4,202 to the kettle that is set up outside of Breen’s IGA on Route 104 in Williamson. All money placed in the kettle supports only Williamson residents.

“I think people would be surprised at how much their dollar bills and coins add up to each day,” said Tom Remis, coordinator for the Red Kettle in Williamson. “I encourage people who don’t normally shop at Breen’s to stop by and make a donation. This is the only place where the Salvation Army is collecting donations to support Williamson residents.”

The money raised in the kettle each year provides added funds for the Salvation Army to support Williamson residents. In the past year, 48 local families and 14 individuals were assisted by the Salvation Army, according to Rod Ballengee, Divisional Field Representative, Salvation Army.

“Funds raised in Williamson are used only to address local needs. What is raised here, stays here," said Ballengee. 

Basic assistance included food, clothing, shelter, medication, furniture, seasonal assistance, rent, and utility assistance. The purpose of the program is not to take to the place of existing programs, but to fill in the gaps where possible. Anyone in need of assistance should contact Ballengee at 716-498-2439.  

Additional volunteers are needed to ring the bell. Volunteers so far have included individuals, Girl Scout troops, church organizations, high school students, and families. Anyone wanting to volunteer should contact Katie Remis at 315-524-7640.

“We’ve had great support from volunteers,” said Remis. “Even though it gets cold standing outside, they enjoy their time interacting with people and supporting the community. Several of them add to the fun by wearing festive Christmas outfits or playing holiday music. We really appreciate everyone’s support.”