One of the region’s longest running holidays traditions – the Salvation Army Red Kettles program – has launched for the 2016 season.
The Red Kettle Campaign has been a staple of the Christmas season for more than 125 years. Last year, the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte raised more than $350,000 in donations to the kettles, which are strategically placed outside local stores.
Money dropped in the kettles is critical for providing year-round services to homeless families at the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope shelter for women and children, as well as at-risk youth in the Boys & Girls Clubs.
The kettles are frequently a source of holidays mysteries, when gold coins, jewelry and other valuables turn up in them without warning. A gold coin, known as a “Walking Liberty,” showed up in one of the local kettles in 2013, and it was worth an estimated $550. The coin was dropped in a kettle at kettle outside a Walmart in Indian Trail.
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Charlotte’s Salvation Army operates one of the biggest Christmas toy programs for low income children in the eastern United States. This year, 10,000 children will be provided free toys through the program.
Volunteers are still needed to ring bells. To sign up, visit www.registertoring.com.