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The ringing of the bells

Salvation Army starting annual holiday drive

Volunteers are still needed for this year’s Salvation Army Kettle Drive. In this photo, a bell ringer collects money in Sturbridge as part of the 2010 initiative. (click for larger version)
November 10, 2011
STURBRIDGE — The bells are about to be ringing outside area stores, as the Salvation Army's Kettle Drive will begin on Friday, Nov. 11, and last through the end of the year.

Bell ringers will be stationed outside the following stores in Sturbridge: Shaw's, JC Penney, Stop and Shop, Wal-Mart, and Yankee Spirits. Stuart Rankin, who is coordinating this year's Kettle Drive in Sturbridge, said he is hoping a Southbridge business will also take part in the initiative.

"One of the goals of the Salvation Army is for a good portion of the money that is raised locally to be given back to the community," Rankin said. "When someone puts a dollar bill into the kettle, they are not just dropping it into the great unknown. Their generosity is helping to meet the needs in the community."

Many of the bell ringers this year represent Tradewinds Clubhouse, a Southbridge-based vocational rehabilitation program that helps individuals with mental illnesses learn various skills, advance their education, and obtain employment. Hometown Bank, of Sturbridge, has also partnered with the Salvation Army, and officials from the bank will count and deposit all of the money that is raised into a local Salvation Army account.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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