MARION -- Marion resident Linda Rendleman said she felt obligated to donate Friday after learning that the annual Salvation army Christmas red kettle drive fell far short this year by nearly $30,000.
"I heard that they didn't receive enough money this year and I want to help."
Reaching into her purse for cash to put into one of those familiar, bright red kettles, Rendleman explained why she feels it is so important to support this charity.
"My father was in the service in World War II and my mother once told me that daddy said that the Salvation Army did more for the troops than any other organization during that time."
It was that kind of generosity that put a smile on the face of volunteer bell ringer Jordon Cockrum, also of Marion, a Banterra Bank employee, who thanked Rendleman for her generous donation.
While Cockrum was greeting Marion Kroger store shoppers at the west front entrance to the store, 50 feet away at the east entrance doors there stood Santa Claus, aka Jonathan Lake of Herrin, ringing his brass bell and accepting donations.
He said, "I volunteer as a bell ringer every year and when I heard of this one day kettle drive, I had to get on board!"
In addition to those two, volunteer bell ringers were also manning red kettles at the Carbondale and Herrin Kroger stores, the Rural Kings stores in Marion and Carbondale, and the Hobby Lobby store in Carbondale.