APPLETON - Thrivent Financial for Lutherans announced Wednesday it will match up to $125,000 in donations on November 30 for the Salvation Army's red kettle campaign.
Thrivent Financial's commitment represents the single largest continuous match day event anywhere in the country for the Salvation Army.
"A chance to be a part of a large amount of money, the record setting and all of those things but it's also a chance to be a part of the community and give back," said Captain Randy Tooley of the Salvation Army-Fox Cities chapter.
Since 2004, Thrivent's match days have generated more than $1.8 million. Thrivent Financial hopes this match day will help push their match day total over $2 million since they started match days in 2004. And employees say it's something they and the community look forward to.
"We do it because we care, we want to help the Salvation Army and help other people in need and it's really a lot of fun as well," said Jennifer Debruin of Appleton.
In 2011, eight different organizations offered match days for the Fox Cities chapter totaling $211,000. The match days raised more than $550,000 toward the Salvation Army's $1.2 million goal.
"It is exciting to meet with these leaders of the community and have them say we want to be a part of this we want to challenge others to be a part," said Tooley.
Bell ringers drive donations at the kettles. People are four times more likely to donate at a kettle with bell ringers than one that is not staffed. Salvation Army officials say that can translate into a $100 per hour difference in donations.
"It's just not about Thrivent Financial, it's about helping those people in need," said Thrivent senior advisor Peter Gianopoulos.
Donations Thrivent and other organizations hope will overflow the kettles on the all-important match days.
Appleton Downtown Incorporated is sponsoring a match day Saturday.
The Fox Cities chapter has about a dozen match days planned.
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