11/28/04 — Kettle drive begins

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Kettle drive begins

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on November 28, 2004 2:05 AM

The sights and sounds of the holidays include, once again this year in Wayne County, red kettles and the chiming of bells.

The Salvation Army rang in its annual red kettle drive Friday morning at 17 locations around Wayne County. Over the next few weeks, the Salvation Army hopes to collect $65,000 to support its holiday programs and other year-round activities.

The ceremonial first dollar was deposited at noon outside Wal-Mart by PACC-10 TV host Jim McKay, who looked at other shoppers and said, "Fill 'er up."

"Only sixty-four thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine dollars to go," said Capt. John Leidy of the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army plans to help nearly 430 families, including more than 800 children, this holiday season. Each will receive food baskets, clothing and stockings, while children will each receive three new toys.

Salvation Army personnel and volunteers will also distribute gifts and pay visits to more than 600 residents of nursing homes.

They will also prepare more than 500 gifts for prisoners in the area, including items like hygiene products, knit caps and heavy socks, Leidy said. "That is something most people don't know that we do."

All this takes cash, so anything anyone wants to put into the kettles will be appreciated.

"We invite all community residents to join us in this effort to ensure that the disadvantaged of our community receive the assistance they need at Christmas and throughout the year," Leidy said.

The Salvation Army has been associated with kettle drives for more than 100 years. Around 1894, Capt. Joseph McFee hung a large cooking pot on a tripod as a way to collect money for a soup kitchen and shelter in the San Francisco waterfront district. By 1900, Salvation Army offices across the country were using kettles for Christmas collections.

Anyone who would like more information or would like to volunteer can contact the Salvation Army at 735-4811.