The Salvation Army of Rome raised $68,691.73 in their annual red kettle drive, which is $26,286.83 more than last year, according to Capt. Douglas McClure of the local organization.
The goal was $65,000. In 2011, only $40,104.90 was raised.
“We rang later this year — from 6 to 8 p.m.,” McClure said. “Last year we stopped at 6 p.m.”
Bell ringers were at the Walmart stores on Cartersville Highway and Redmond Circle, the Walmart stores in Cedartown, Rockmart and Summerville, Sam’s Club in Rome and Kroger.
The total raised does not include any money that may have been raised online.
This year the organization established a website — www.onlineredkettle.org — that allowed individuals to create an online site where their friends can donate to the Salvation Army.
Money raised during the Christmas season helps provide and support services in Floyd, Chattooga and Polk counties throughout the year, McClure said.
Last year the Rome Salvation Army served more than 14,000 meals, gave out 900 food orders, helped with more than $42,000 in utility/rent/prescription assistance, sent 27 local children to summer camp, and provided 1,400 nights of stay to area homeless in their emergency shelter, according to information from the organization.
The Salvation Army operates two thrift stores, one on East Second Avenue and one on Shorter Avenue.