Counting your pennies: Salvation Army takes in record haul

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Salvation Army shattered its fundraising goal with a record-setting Red Kettle drive, the agency announced on Monday.

Thanks to the generosity of folks in Knoxville and the surrounding cities, the area command raised just over $650,000, blowing way past the its $600,000 goal. The total amounted to an 11% increase over 2011.

“We were ahead of the pace needed to exceed our goal for most of the campaign again this year and were able to take advantage of the drier weather to maximize our kettle locations throughout the command,” said Area Commander, Major Albert Villafuerte.

The Salvation Army credited the success of the Red Kettle campaign not only to the generosity of local residents, but also to the thousands of hours contributed by volunteers and the support of area retailers.

The Red Kettle campaign is the Salvation Army's biggest fundraiser of the year and accounts for about 15% of its total annual operating budget.

Even though the Red Kettle Campaign has come to a close, the need is still great. Requests for assistance are ever-growing and donations are needed throughout the year to support the requests. Donations can be made anytime by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or by visiting

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