The Salvation Army of Michigan City announced that it exceeded the campaign goal set for the 2021 holiday season.

The Salvation Army says that with a theme of “Hope Marches On,” the campaign collected record amounts in donations since the kick-off, and Majors Dale and Becky Simmons of The Salvation Army are happy to say Hope is restored.

“We set the bar high this year for our Christmas Campaign, knowing that it would be crucial to meet that goal if we were to continue providing the level of service needed in our community, given the challenges and fluctuations from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Major Becky Simmons said. “The fact that we not only met that goal – but exceeded it, for the second year – is a great vote of confidence from Michigan City in the work that we do.”

The Salvation Army of Michigan City sets a campaign goal every Christmas season, which raises money through red kettles, online/mail-in donations and sponsorship dollars. These funds help serve local families during the holidays, but also help The Salvation Army operate throughout the year, according to Simmons.

This year, 561 families received holiday assistance with food and toys, including more than 1,200 children. In addition, approximately 400 meals were distributed on Thanksgiving Day. Also supported by donations through the Christmas Campaign are a year-round food pantry, diaper bank, utility assistance, weekend backpack feeding program, youth summer camp, Pathway of Hope case management, and more.

“All of the money raised through our Christmas Campaign stays right here in Michigan City to meet the needs of people who are struggling with basic needs,” Simmons said.

“We want to give a huge thank you to our sponsors, volunteers, bellringers, board members, and many more. This year we hit a record number of volunteers for bellringing, 55% of bellringing hours were filled with volunteers, as opposed to 34% in 2020 and 36% in 2019.” Simmons went on to say, “With the support of our community, we are able to help Michigan City families in their darkest hours, and help to restore hope that God, and their community loves them.”

The Salvation Army gives special recognition to Chief Dion Campbell, his wife LaRonda and their family, who served as the honorary campaign chairs.

“The Campbell family was truly dedicated to this campaign,” Simmons said. “They were present at every event throughout the season, volunteered in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, distributed toys for Christmas, rang a bell at red kettles and were an amazing representation of what it means to support The Salvation Army at Christmastime.”

“Sponsors, donors, volunteers, bellringers, and advocates helped us reach this tremendous goal and we are so very grateful for their time and monetary donations,” Jenilee Haynes Peterson, development director for The Salvation Army.