MUSCATINE, Iowa–In the nick of time on Christmas Eve in 2021, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County officially surpassed their Red Kettle Campaign goal of raising at least $190,000 for the year ahead. However, arriving at a final total for the season took much longer, as mail in, online, and even some corporate donations continued to come in even after in person bell ringing ended. Feb. 11, Lieutenant Greg Bock of the Salvation Army of Muscatine County announced that the Red Kettle Campaign brought in a total of $230,990, positioning the Salvation Army to continue providing its core programing while exploring new ways to benefit the community.
In a year when people felt stretched thin by inflation and compassion fatigue caused by nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, donations came in somewhat slowly. However, come in they did, and by Dec. 24, 2021, the campaign had collected $192,000. Though Bock felt relieved that the Salvation Army reached its goal and that he could end his annual giant red kettle stay at Hy-Vee in time to celebrate Christmas Eve with his family, he also took pride in knowing that the community came together to meet the goal before the deadline.
As in years past, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County will use the money raised to pay for all of their needs for the year, from covering overhead costs at the corps building, to operating their food pantry, after school program, summer day camp, and Pathway of hope program. “It’s literally used to keep our operations running,” stressed Bock.
This year, Bock also plans to put some of the funds raised towards several projects that will make the Salvation Army even more welcoming to everyone they serve. Renovations have already begun to create a new, larger youth room, which will provide a better space for their children’s programming.
Once the weather gets warmer, Bock also looks forward to offering an archery program to provide a social and physical activity for people of all ages to enjoy. More than just introducing people to a unique sport, Bock also hopes it will bring new people to the Salvation Army of Muscatine County’s physical location at 100 Oregon Street in Muscatine and allow them to get to know the staff and volunteers there and all the services that they offer.
Though the holiday season has ended, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County still welcomes any community support people would like to offer. In particular, they could use volunteers to assist with their afterschool program and to help them with heavy lifting in the food pantry. An excellent opportunity for all volunteers, especially high school students seeking Silver Cord hours and for retired people who would like to stay active in their community, Bock encourages anyone who would like to help out to contact the Salvation Army of Muscatine County by calling 563-263-8272 or by sending a Facebook message to the Salvation Army of Muscatine County, Iowa page. The Salvation Army also accepts monetary donations throughout the year either through their website or via mail.