Red Kettle Kick-Off reminds everyone of the true meaning of Christmas

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Countdown To Christmas
December 25 2021 12:00 am

TRIADELPHIA W.Va. (WTRF) The gift of giving surely will get anyone in the holiday spirit. This local fundraising event makes it easy to help those in need this holiday season. 

The Salvation Army is ringing with excitement for their red kettle kick-off at the Highlands Cabela’s.

Take that spare change out of your pocket and help make a difference. The Red Kettle Kick-Off jump starts about a 60-day fundraiser and in turn impacts residents in your area.  

Captain Mark Van Meter, Commanding Officer of Salvation Army say this is just the beginning. He says it’s important that they’re able to continue to operate to provide these services for those in need.

In the last two years, through case conferencing and case management, we have seen approximately 75 men come of the street and obtain housing and become a permanent fixture in our community. Those are significant and we would not be able to do that if we couldn’t keep the lights on and the heat on, the water flowing.

So, that’s why this time of the year is so important to us. Obviously, our angel tree is going to be out, and people can give toys and support our angel tree program, but these monies keep us going. They really keep us going throughout the year.

Captain Mark Van Meter, Commanding Officer of Salvation Army 

Approximately 10% of the Salvation Army’s entire budget comes from this fundraiser.  

As a part of today’s event, The Salvation Army announced this year’s Christmas Chair family.  Van Meter says one name continued to be nominated for the position.  

Red Kettle Chair for the Christmas Season

It was a great honor, when I go the phone call I was honored, out company is honored to team up with the Salvation Army and to be held to that high standard in the community. We play a small part in a lot of things we do at certain times. 

The Salvation Army works year around, 24 hours a day and when things happen, they are there to help people. When I heard the story and talked to Mark about how many people they help, clothes, toys, and meals you just can’t help but feel it in your heart you have to be involved in it.

Bob Contraguerro Sr., Christmas Chairman 

One of the events the Salvation Army puts on each year is their Angel Tree toy drive. It provided less fortunate children in the area with gifts on Christmas morning.  Jennifer Mark Van Meter, Captain of Salvation Army read a testimonial written by a local woman who once was an Angel Tree child. 

She says that that was the first time in her childhood that she actually received a Christmas and up until that point she hated Christmas.

She hated going back to school after Christmas and had to lie because she didn’t get gifts and she didn’t want to say that, and she was embarrassed. The Salvation Army Angel tree provided for her that year and it has hanged her outlook and her love for Christmas forever.

Captain Jennifer Van Meter, Salvation Army

The Salvation Army hopes to raise $70,000 in red kettle donations this holiday season and with these donations they expect to surpass the assistance they provided last year.  

As you see these red kettles pop up outside stories near you, just remember that every dollar and penny make a difference.

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