Swanton Kroger Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive Donations Rebound

After two years of lower donations due to unexpected and unavoidable circumstances, the shoppers at the Kroger grocery store in Swanton stepped up in a big way to donate to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Drive during the holiday period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The heartbreaking passing of Joe Kahle, who organized the Drive for years and spent countless hours making the Swanton Kroger contribution the most successful in Northwest Ohio, and the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined to drop donations to seriously low levels.

In 2022, Bonnie Holdeman took on the painstaking organizing and scheduling of the Red Kettle Drive and was able to find bell ringers to fill all the two-hour slots.  The bell Ringers included many individuals, duos and even an entire family (See Photo).  Thanks to the efforts of Bonnie, local businesses and organizations, dozens of residents and, of course, the Swanton Kroger and its employees, the 2022 donations jumped over 40% from 2021.  Donations totaled $10,059 in 2021 and rose to $14,162 in 2022. 

All monies collected in the Swanton Drive will be allocated within the Swanton community.  According to the Salvation Army, “the donations we collect during the holiday season not only help us provide gifts to children who would otherwise go without, but they also help us provide food, shelter, and utility assistance to those who need it most every day of the year.  Every dollar dropped into a red kettle helps give local families the Christmases they deserve and the yearlong support they so desperately need.”

Photo: All hands on deck for a good cause. The children of Betsy and Luke Gardner took their turn ringing the bell to help their fellow Swanton residents.


  • I want to Thank Gayle Sass for all her help. And U Bill for helping with the Red Kettle. It takes a Village , to make this happen. And we have a awesome bunch of people here in Swatnon. I know Joe has a smile on his face.


  • Thank you Bill and Bonnie. I would also like to thank Gayle Fass who worked with Bonnie making calls and encouraging people to sign up.I am continually amazed at how supportive the citizens of Swanton are. I’m sure Joe is smiling today at all of your success 🙂


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