Volunteer Debra Vickers rings the bell for donations during The Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Drive kickoff at Anderson's on Talmadge Road and Monroe Street this past November.
The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
The Salvation Army's 2012 Red Kettle Campaign raised $572,600.81 that will be used to aid the poor in the Toledo area, officials announced today.
The amount exceeded the goal of $570,000, Salvation Army Captain Kevin Zanders said during a news conference held at The Anderson's general store in Maumee. The organization collected $550,000 in 2011.
"We're very grateful," Mr. Zanders said."None of this would have been possible without the community's support."
Funds raised were used to provide area families with food, toys, and clothing during Christmas, Salvation Army officials said. Some of the funds will also be used to stock the organization's food pantry, youth programs, outreach ministries, and other emergency needs.
.A total of 56 Red Kettle stations were set up at various Toledo area businesses to collect donations though Dec. 24. Those locations included Kmart, Walgreens, Krogers, Hobby Lobby, Bass Pro, Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, Big Lots, and The Andersons.
Dan Anderson, who served as this year's honorary campaign chairman, praised the Salvation Army's efforts.
"They are a very organized outfit - and what a fantastic cause," Mr. Anderson said.
The Salvation Army provides services to five counties in the northwest Ohio area, including Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Henry, and Fulton. The organization served more than 205,000 people during the fiscal year from October, 2010 through September 2011, according to the organization's 2011 Annual Report.