LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The Ho-Chunk Nation will match up to $20,000 in donations made to the Salvation Army Saturday as part of Match Day.
The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is only at 38 percent of their goal to raise $650,000, according to Jay Dalberg, kettle coordinator.
That's why donating, especially Saturday, is extremely important, he added.
Pam Johnson promised to help the Salvation Army every winter.
"When my hometown (of Stockton, Minnesota) got flooded in '07, they were there providing meals for the longest time," Johnson said. "And to me, it's a big relief to know that people are there."
For 10 hours Saturday, she stood behind a red kettle; even if she was in a bit of pain. Johnson had breast cancer surgery earlier this week.
"There's people who don't have what I've got. I'm blessed with a wonderful family. And there's people who don't have a family to go home to for Christmas and stuff like that," Johnson said.
Standing next to her was Anna Lattos, ringing bells just a day after she rang them for 24 hours straight.
"I slept for 9 hours – actually for 12. So pretty much, I'm good," Lattos said.
The West Salem High School senior hoped to raise at least $1,000 for her 24-hour project.
Saturday Lattos heard the grand total: $6,065.97.
Outside the Shopko in La Crosse, where Johnson and Lattos rang bells, Dalberg brought the Salvation Army's emergency dispatch canteen and served volunteers hot cocoa, coffee and lunch.
"Happy bell ringers like to help us raise money," Dalberg said.
"(It's) people in different walks of life just trying to come and be a part of what we're doing," he added. "And it just shows people care about their community and try to help out where they can."
These volunteers hope with each bell's chime, more people are encouraged to help.
The Salvation Army said it's on bell ringers this year. There are several two-hour time slots available. To help, sign-up on www.Bells2Ring.org.
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