by: File photo It’s time to fill the kettle for the needy again.

The Salvation Army kicked off its annual kettle season in the Portland area Nov. 17 with a ceremony at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland.

Kettles will start appearing in storefronts throughout the area with bell ringers ready to accept your donations.

Financial donations to The Salvation Army Portland Metro are down 25 percent from where they were last year at this time.

'This number is disconcerting as The Salvation Army enters a busy Christmas season where there is an increase in need across the Portland Metro area,' the church stated in a press release. 'The Salvation Army relies upon donations throughout the year to help provide services to thousands of under-served people in the community.'

'This difference puts us at a disadvantage as we move into our busiest season of the year, a time when we are working to meet the needs of thousands of children and families across the Metro area,' Major Don Gilger, Portland Metro Coordinator for The Salvation Army.

Donations fund toys for children and food boxes. In 2010, 3,400 families received Christmas assistance, and this number has only increased this year.

You can also donate online at, or send a check to: The Salvation Army, attn: Development, 8495 S.E. Monterey Ave., Happy Valley, 97086-7844.

Dental clinic

The Oregon Dental Association will host its second Oregon Mission of Mercy (OrMOM) free dental clinic Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 21-22, at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd.

Dental screenings and services will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, at no charge to those who attend.

The Salvation Army will be providing thousands of hot beverages to patients waiting overnight for dental services. Doors will open at 4 a.m. and treatments will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Services may not be provided to individuals who have medically-compromising conditions, such as extremely high blood pressure or severe disabilities that prohibit receiving care.

A parent or guardian must accompany children younger than 18. Photo identification, Social Security number or other personal identification/documentation is not required.

All work will be provided free by a team of more than 1,500 volunteers including dentists, dental hygienists, assistants, Oregon Health and Science University School of Dentistry students and community members who are donating their time and skills.

Cleanings, fillings, extractions and limited treatment will be offered. Volunteer Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese translators will be available to assist patients.

Last year's clinic provided more than $829,000 worth of treatment to 1,554 patients, made possible by community partners who made monetary and in kind contributions to OrMOM.

A complete list of this year's sponsors can be found at

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