The NMI Chapter of the Salvation Army saw a record-breaking increase in funds raised from its annual Red Kettle fundraiser.
According to minister Wayne Gillespie of the Salvation Army, the CNMI Chapter received a donation of $6,000 worth of vouchers that may be a record, at least in the region.
“We were flabbergasted…Saipan Stevedore, Saipan Shipping, and PHI Pharmacy all came together and donated $6,000 in vouchers to our kettle,” said Gillespie.
A donation that size is huge for the chapter; Gillespie said it could possibly be the largest amount raised from the kettle season fundraiser for the entire Micronesian region.
“We believe it’s a record, at least for Micronesia…a $300 to $400 kettle is pretty big. It’s larger than average and that one was $6,000. We think that it’s probably a regional record,” he said.
The Salvation Army does the Red Kettle fundraiser around the world during the holiday season, starting the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. This year, the kettle season concluded on Dec. 23.
“We want to thank our hosts. Joeten Superstore has been hosting our kettle for 12 years and we really appreciate that,” said Gillespie.
This year was also significant for the chapter because they were given the opportunity to expand their kettle locations.
“This year we added Joeten Susupe. They were gracious enough to host our kettles so we added some there and we did counter kettles, which are smaller versions of the kettles and we just put them on the counters,” Gillespie said.
The I Love Saipan shops not only hosted kettles but also donated packed meals for the NMI Chapter’s soup kitchen.
“They [kettles] were hosted by I Love Saipan, we really appreciated that. In addition to that, I Love Saipan donated quite a bit of food to our soup kitchen in the form of bentos (packed meals) and so we fed a lot of people with those bentos,” he said.
Gillespie said the amount raised from the Red Kettle fundraiser will be used for the chapter’s ongoing projects.
“We really appreciate that and we already have plans for the funds. We have some things we need for the soup kitchen, and we’re working on that,” he said.
The kettles raised over $6,000, but the exact amount will be announced at a later date.