Salvation Army head Marak points out that every little bit helps locally

Chris Troxell (left) and her son, Trey, of Huntington, drop some money into the Salvation Army kettle at Owen’s North on Friday, Nov. 24, while bell ringers Felix (third from left) and Deb Vanner look on. Friday was the first official day for the bell ringers in Huntington.
Chris Troxell (left) and her son, Trey, of Huntington, drop some money into the Salvation Army kettle at Owen’s North on Friday, Nov. 24, while bell ringers Felix (third from left) and Deb Vanner look on. Friday was the first official day for the bell ringers in Huntington. Photo by Scott Trauner..

Capt. Dennis Marak wants you to keep two things in mind when you hear the Salvation Army bells ringing this Christmas season:

Every bit of change tossed into the red kettle helps, and that help goes a long way with your friends and neighbors.

“I’m ringing at Walmart, the food side, Friday and Saturday,” Marak says. “And people say, ‘I’m sorry I don’t have a lot of money.’ But I’d like people to know every little bit helps … Every bit helps.”

The Huntington Salvation Army has a goal of raising $97,000 throughout the holiday season.

“That money will last until May,” he says.

Marak says the Salvation Army in Huntington helps some 200 families a month, sometimes more, with food, emergency shelter and other assistance.

“That is all Huntington County,” he says. “All the money we raise throughout the year stays in Huntington County.”

A portion of the funds raised also cover the Salvation Army’s operational expenses, enabling it to offer a helping hand to local residents.

Bell ringers started staffing the Salvation Army kettles the day after Thanksgiving and will continue to ring through mid-day on Christmas Eve.

More bell ringers are needed, Marak says, and volunteers can sign up, selecting a time and location, at registertoring.com.

The Salvation Army kettles can be found at Walmart, both Owen’s stores, Big Lots and Walgreens, all in Huntington.
Donations can also be sent by mail.

Those who received an invitation to donate through the mail were instructed to send their gifts to the Salvation Army headquarters in Indianapolis, which Marak says saves postage costs for the local church. However, all
donations from Huntington County are counted and placed in the Huntington Salvation Army account, he says.

Donations can also be mailed or brought to the local Salvation Army building at 1424 E. Market St., Huntington, IN 46750.

The traditional “tree of lights” is in place in front of Central Christian Church on MacGahan Street to keep the community informed of the pace of donations. The fund-raising effort will also be tracked on a thermometer in front of Huntington Chiropractic Center on North Jefferson Street.

“Our motto is ‘expect change,’” Marak says, a motto that reflects both the donations the Salvation Army receives and the effect it hopes those donations will have.

“What we like to do — we say it around here — is change lives, one person at a time,” he says. “That’s what we like to do throughout the year.”