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      Ottumwa Salvation Army Kettle Bell Campaign and Thrift Store seeing an increase in numbers

      Itâ??s hard to miss the sound of ringing bells around the holiday season as volunteers for the Salvation Armyâ??s Red Kettle Campaign are all around the community.

      Capt. Oliver Knuth of the Salvation Army in Ottumwa said numbers are already up from where they were at this time last year.

      From the Red Kettle Campaign, around $50,000 has been raised with the ultimate goal being $106,000.

      This is the Salvation Armyâ??s biggest fundraise of the year. Money raised not only helps with what they do at Christmas but also helps them throughout the year with the Senior Feeding Program and Social Services Program.

      Capt. Knuth said he is confident that goal can be met and it couldnâ??t be done without the volunteers.

      â??We've had a lot for sure. And we can always use a lot. We have a lot going on between our bell ringing opportunities right up through Christmas Eve as well as all next week we'll be setting up for our Christmas toys and giving all of our toys and food away that we do for Christmas all next week. So definitely a busy time and can always use volunteers,â?? said Capt. Knuth.

      Not only is the Salvation Army Kettle Bell Campaign seeing an increase in donations this year, but sales at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Ottumwa are increasing.

      Store Manager Airen Snow said sales have almost doubled since this summer.

      Theyâ??ve had to even cut back on their store hours from 10 to 4 which she said is a good thing.

      Snow said people like a good deal, especially during the holidays which she thinks has contributed to more sales.

      â??Plus, we've been really putting it out there on how much we really do for the community. We've been -- everybody thinks of Salvation Army and the bell ringing around the holidays so Iâ??m sure that's some good publicity for us. We also have been doing some really huge sales. We have a quarter day on Mondays on all our tags and the rest of the time we have 50% on all shoes and all of our Christmas right now so I try to run as many sales as possible,â?? said Snow.

      Snow said itâ??s always a treasure hunt when you come to the store.

      The store is always accepting donations and you can bring them by during regular business hours.