ST. CHARLES – Last year, the Salvation Army Tri-City Corps was able to provide 1,513 warm coats to the underserved during the cold winter season and help 3,646 people with rent, mortgage payments, transportation and utility bills.
With the community's help, the social service provider would like to help more people in the area. On Dec. 15, longtime Salvation Army supporters Jim and Mary Ann Lindquist will match all donations to Salvation Army red kettles in the Tri-Cities up to $25,000.
"They just really love the Tri-Cities and they want to be able to help as much as possible," said Captain Betsy Clark, corps officer at the Salvation Army Tri-City Corps. "They put their name to it because they want to encourage others to give. Their hope is by doing this match gift, that people will dig deep and they will see what they can do."
Kettle Match Day started several years ago, Clark said.
"It started with a smaller match, but it's grown over the years," she said. "Each year, we're just so grateful that people are willing to do that and our bell ringers look forward to it every year. The best way to give on Match Day is to go and give at any of our kettle locations."
As part of a "friendly" competition, St. Charles police and fire departments will be manning Salvation Army red kettles from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Walmart store at 150 Smith Road on the city's east side.
Red kettles are also located at several other spots in the city, including Blue Goose Market, Jewel-Osco, Starbucks and Walgreens. A kettle also will be located on Kettle Match Day at The Salvation Army Tri-City Corps and Joe K. Anderson Community Center at 1710 S. 7th Ave., St. Charles and kettles will be located that day at Colonial Cafe locations at 1625 E. Main St. and 552 Randall Road in St. Charles.
"That's another opportunity to give, if people are out for a bite to eat for breakfast or lunch at Colonial Cafe," Clark said. "We'll be there ringing the bell as well."
The Salvation Army also is in need of volunteer bell ringers. To register to be a volunteer ringer, go to registertoring.com.
The Salvation Army's kettle season began on Nov. 9 and will continue through Dec. 24.
"We have less than two weeks remaining and right now, we're at around $80,000 towards our $200,000 goal," Clark said. "So we're really counting on this Match Day to get us some good ground on that goal."
The Salvation Army fell a little short of its goal last year, which also was $200,000. It raised between $188,000 and $190,000, she said.