Salvation Army kettle bell campaign negatively impacted by Marsh closures

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With just days until Christmas, the Salvation Army is only halfway to its $3.5 million goal for its red kettle campaign.

Last month, CBS4 told you the closing of Marsh grocery stores is having a huge impact on the fundraiser. Marsh typically donated $30,000 at the start of the campaign. And the organization says donations this year are also down.

One major recipient of those donations is the Harbor Light Center. The drug rehabilitation center is on Indy's west side with 150 beds. The facility receives the red kettle donations from their neighborhood.

"So when people drop cash in the kettle, the outcome of that is service. The outcome of the income is hope, the outcome of the income is helping people get off of drugs and alcohol, reuniting families back together again," Major Kendall Mathews said.

The house provides detox services, temporary housing and a residential treatment program. Aaron Montgomery went from resident to case manager with three years free of drugs and alcohol.

"Helps a lot of people. In my case it helped somebody that was broken, in need of help, in need of a helping hand," Montgomery said.

Other give back in a different way like become bell ringers to support the cause that changed their life.

"I enjoy doing it and it makes me feel good to be able to give to the public because Harbor Light has done things for me, the Salvation Army has done things for me," bell ringer Roger Powell said.

So the next time you hear the bell ring, leaders say don't just think of a holiday fixture but the change you can make in your own community.

"It's a sacrificial service that people are sharing their resources with us. They become stockholders in changing lives. Who doesn't want to be a stockholder in seeing a life changed and transformed," Major Mathews said.

Last day of kettles is Saturday, Dec. 23. Online donations can be made at SalvationArmyIndiana.org or by texting HOOSIER to 41444.

The Harbor Light Center currently has about 18 beds available in the detox center if you or a loved one is looking for services, contact Donniece Rinehart at 317-224-0724.

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