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The Salvation Army Red Kettle Christmas Campaign Kicks Off This Week

Each year The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Christmas Campaign raises funds for critical programs in communities nationwide. The campaign, known to the average shopper for its signature red buckets and cheerful bell ringers outside local grocery stores and other businesses, enables the Salvation Army to provide food, toys and clothing to more than 6 million people during the Christmas season.

The 2009 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign kicked off Nov. 30 and runs through Christmas Eve. Some kettles will be out during the week before Thanksgiving and after Christmas for high-traffic shopping.

Red kettles and bell ringers will be present at 49 grocery stores, Wal-Marts, the Galleria Mall, and other businesses in Henderson and Green Valley. Three locations in Boulder City will also take part in the program.

“The Red Kettle Christmas Campaign is one of the most recognized projects The Salvation Army runs each year,” said Major William Cobb. “By simply collecting change from shoppers, we are able to help a lot of people each year.”

Volunteers from the Henderson Rotary Club, Henderson Chamber of Commerce staff, City of Henderson staff, along with a number of area businesses and churches will man some of the kettles during this holiday season. Some of the local businesses helping are JCS and the BMGroup. Other bell ringers are paid individuals who are homeless or come from low-income families.

The Red Kettle campaign first started in San Francisco in 1981 and has traditionally been The Salvation Army’s most prominent fundraiser. The millions of nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars raised during the campaigns remain in the towns where the money is deposited into the kettles. The funds raised help support many of the 37 million people in poverty who turn to The Salvation Army for food and toys during the Christmas season.

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide.

For more information on The Salvation Army visit www.salvationarmyusa.org .