A lesson in Christmas giving during final push of Red Kettle Campaign

By Audrey Williams

December 24, 2012 Updated Dec 24, 2012 at 6:11 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Monday is the final day you'll hear those ringing bells outside stores across Central Illinois.

The Salvation Army made it's final push Christmas Eve in their annual Red Kettle campaign.

At Northwoods Mall, some Peoria Area Insurance and Financial Advisers were helping out. Some even brought children to offer a lesson in the true meaning of Christmas while volunteering.

"Christmas is about helping people and spending time with your family," said 7-year-old Victoria Novotny.

Jim Vershaw brought his daughter Kherington to help. Jim said, "This right here, especially for her, gives her a chance, and she's only three, it gives her a chance to see what the real Christmas spirit is about and it's giving."

At last count, Peoria County has raised a total of $876,000 through all of their efforts, totaling 52-percent of the goal.

McLean County is at 83-percent of their goal, raising more than $357,000.

While the bell ringing may be over, the tree of lights campaign runs through the end of January.

Donations to the Tree of Lights Campaign can be made by mailing to The Salvation Army, PO Box 1468, Peoria, IL 61655, by calling (309) 655-7220 to charge on American Express, MasterCard, Visa or Discover, on-line at saheartland.org or by texting givepeoria to 80888 to make a $5 donation.

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