Ring-a-ling! Jingle bells chimed outside Oberlin IGA on Thursday and Friday during the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas in July event.
You may be used to seeing the the Salvation Army’s red collection kettles in December, but the organization works to help people year-round.
It provides a variety of free services all year long, including anything from 12-month rehab and resume building to helping families pay off cars or buy a pair of shoes.
“One hundred percent of the funds we raise go directly to help Oberlin families, but if you make a donation to the national organization instead of at our branch office, we only get a small percentage of that money. Many people don’t know that,” said coordinator Stephanie Walker.
She said people are more generous with donations during the winter, but their summer event truly shines when volunteers come out to help.
Last year, with extra pairs of helping hands, they raised $600 in two hours.
As a single mother with three children, Walker was able to stabilize her finances and get back on her feet with the organization’s help.
Ringing the bell is a way for her family to show its love for the community and to help others in need, she said.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.