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Local Salvation Army Enters “Grudge" Match with Cleveland

From now until January 31, Pittsburgh is in a battle with Cleveland to raise the most money for the Salvation Army. Last year, Pittsburgh raised $9,200 online, about $2,000 more than Cleveland. Contributors can use the Pittsburgh Salvation Army cyber kettle for the next two months.

Major William H. Bode, the western Pennsylvania divisional commander, said that this is a natural, friendly competition between two cities where everyone wins.

"The money will be used locally in each of our own communities, but really the winners of the contest are the people that will be served in our communities," Bode said.

The competition between the cities comes with a fun football twist. If Cleveland raises more money through its online red kettle, Pittsburgh's Salvation Army workers will wear Cleveland Browns jerseys. If Pittsburgh collects, Cleveland will be turned black and gold, with their members wearing Steelers jerseys.

Bode said that raising money is now much easier than before through personal online kettles. Instead of having a kettle-tender ringing a bell in the cold, individuals can set up an online red kettle to accept donations across the Web.

Bode said that he expects a possible increase in need in these tough economic times.

"Children have come to Project Bundle Up, to the stores, to get new coats and shoes, and let me just tell you that the coats that they're wearing and the shoes that are being worn would make your heart break and make you cry, because children are really in need out there, and that's why we're doing this again this year," Bode said.