This holiday season marks the 19th year Merrill residents have been welcomed at Walmart, Drew’s Piggly Wiggly, and Dave’s County Market with the sound of ringing bells and the sight of one or more apron-clad ringers standing next to a Salvation Army Kettle. The kettles are manned by members of area churches, organizations, or community members at large. Unlike bigger cities, all of Merrill’s ringers are volunteers.
All of the monies donated at the kettle or sent to our Post Office Box during the Kettle Campaign stay in Merrill and are used to provide emergency financial help to those in need of food, shelter or transportation. Last year, 46 households in Merrill  were helped by the Salvation Army. The kettle funds also are used to help fund “Food For Kids,” the program that provides food to elementary age school children on the weekends when food from their usual sources are not available. Sister Mary Thomas, chairperson of the local Salvation Army Unit states, “The work done through the Salvation Army has enriched us all. It is a reminder of our city’s willingness to confront difficult problems and to feed, clothe and shelter homeless and hungry people.”
Last year, the kettle campaign raised $18,700. In order to meet the needs in Merrill, we need to raise that amount again. Whether it be donating at the kettle, sending a check, or volunteering to ring the bell, your contribution is welcomed. For more information or to volunteer to ring the bell, please contact Sharon Anderson at (715) 536-9166 or e-mail at anderson1969@frontier.com. Donations may be mailed to the Salvation Army, PO Box 614, Merrill, WI 54452. You also can find us Salvation Army of Merrill on Facebook.