Now that we've jumped into 2024, it is hard to remember that just a few weeks ago, we were celebrating a Minnesota Christmas that was a bit on the rare side.  We had zero snow.  Mother Nature is getting us caught up on that now but it was a bit odd to be out looking at lights, shopping, and hearing the bells ringing for The Salvation Army without that snow.

It seems like the lack of white stuff on the ground gave us all a bit more of a generous spirit.  If you haven't heard the amazing news yet, let me be the one to share it...

James Rabe - TSM
James Rabe - TSM
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Over $1.1 Million Donated During Christmas Campaign To The Salvation Army

A few weeks before Christmas, our team at Townsquare Media showed up at HyVee Barlow in Rochester, Minnesota for a few hours of bell ringing.  It was fun to get out of the office with a few of my co-workers but it was also an exciting moment to just witness the generosity that happened in those few hours.

Jessica Williams - TSM Rochester
Jessica Williams - TSM Rochester
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All we did was show up and ring a bell and say "Merry Christmas" or "Hello" to every person that walked by.  It is one of the easiest ways to help out our community.  But as I was ringing, people came up to us and told us "Thank You" as they were dropping $20 bills in the red kettle.  $20 bills and they were thanking me.

During my time standing at the front of HyVee, I heard "Thank You" over and over again and you could see the sincerity in the person's eyes as they said it.  I was at a loss for words because the thanks really goes to YOU.

Every single person that grabbed a quarter from their car before they walked into a store, handed their kids a few coins or a dollar to put in the slot, or handed over larger bills and had the volunteers push it down with the paint stick...the thanks goes to YOU.

Jessica Williams/TSM Rochester
Jessica Williams/TSM Rochester
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Because of all of those coins and bills and the matches that several companies provided as well, a total of $1.166,349 was raised during the Christmas Campaign for The Salvation Army, which surpassed the goal of $1.1 Million!

To the individual that put a coin or cash in the red kettle...YOU helped make that happen.

 

To the volunteers that rang bells for 3,463 hours...YOU helped make that happen.

 

To Mayo Clinic and Think Bank who provided generous red kettle matches...YOU helped make that happen.

 

Kim David/TSM
Kim David/TSM
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“To give some examples of the impact a successful campaign like this has on people in need, we provided Christmas presents for 910 children the week before Christmas and our Thanskgiving and Christmas meals served over 150 people each.  Thousands of people receive healthcare, housing support, and other social services because of the generosity of so many people during the Christmas season. We are truly grateful for the compassion and kindness of this community.”

- Major Cornell Voeller, Corps Officer for Business at The Salvation Army

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Google
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What Does The Salvation Army Do in Rochester, Minnesota?

I am pretty sure you saw the red kettles in at least one spot around town during the holidays.  But I know how life is, we tend to get in our own routines a bit and don't always realize that right there on Broadway is a sign that says "Good Samaritan Clinic".  Another building not far away is a place where individuals can go during the day where many resources and people are ready and willing to help.  An additional building with the name "The Salvation Army" also exists in our town.

If you haven't explored the resources and services that The Salvation Army provides in Olmsted County, take a moment right now and just check out their website.  See what they do and get a glimpse of what happens beyond those buildings that...well...you may have driven by but didn't even notice before.  Next time you are on Broadway, I have a feeling that you will see it.

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Gallery Credit: Jessica On The Radio

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