2019 Red Kettle Campaign surpasses goal

Greg Bock celebrating the Red Kettle Campaign's success atop the Salvation Army of Muscatine County's giant red kettle.

MUSCATINE, Iowa—In 2019, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County set a goal of $180,000 for their Red Kettle Campaign, enough to cover all their overhead and programming costs for 2020. An ambitious goal, first year Lieutenants Greg and Liz Bock had high hopes for meeting it but felt a touch intimidated all the same. “I was a little nervous going into it, and they had not met the goal in so long,” shared Greg Bock. However, with a lot of hard work and community support, the Salvation Army raised nearly $190,000, exceeding their original goal by nearly $10,000.

Greg Bock attributes the Red Kettle Campaign’s success to many factors. First, he considered Mike Ruby’s support as Christmas Chair key. Greg Bock shared that Ruby put in, “probably 100 hours contacting clubs and organizations to get them to ring the bell.” Thanks to Ruby’s efforts, every kettle across the county had ringers at it each weekend, maximizing donations.

Along with Ruby’s efforts, Greg Bock also found the support of the Christmas board very helpful. “A lot of credit goes to the board for having faith in us, especially in our first year,” he said. The board proved instrumental in raising the funds for the Salvation Army’s giant red kettle. Within 48 hours of Greg Bock sharing with the board that he wanted their help raising funds to get the giant kettle built, they had come up with the money.

Finally, the Bocks found having the giant red kettle and having Greg Bock live in it in the run up to Christmas helped get them all the way to their goal. Both Bocks noted that when people saw what living outside in the winter looks like, it helped them empathize with people in need, which encouraged them to put even more in the kettle.

With the Red Kettle Campaign wrapped up until November, the Bocks feel very grateful for the amount of money people across the county donated. “We are elated, ecstatic. We’re not having to cut anything and we’re hoping to do more,” beamed Liz Bock. Though the Salvation Army has not announced official plans for how they will spend the additional $10,000 they raised, they would like to put it towards possibly hiring a part time youth services director, opening a satellite office in West Liberty with the help of Marian Hart, and adding more to their Pathway of Hope services.

In 2019, the Red Kettle Campaign featured its first ever traveling trophy challenge. The Muscatine County Sherriff’s Office and the Muscatine Police and Fire Departments competed to see who could bring in the most donations. On March 12th from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Salvation Army, the Bocks look forward to hosting the Jingle Mingle dinner, which will honor those who helped ring the bell last season. At the dinner, they will also announce the winner of the traveling trophy and the total amounts raised by each department.