The Salvation Army's red kettle campaign kicks off, ready to meet challenges

Posted at 6:32 PM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 11:18:37-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Black Friday is two weeks from today, and when you hit the stores the Salvation Army will once again be out in full force.

On Friday afternoon, dignitaries from across central Kentucky gathered inside the new Central Bank Center at Rupp Arena to help bring awareness to the Salvation Army’s red kettle and angel tree campaigns. Both, of course, are aimed at helping those less fortunate get through the holiday season.

“You are needed. Your dollar is needed. Your change. Every penny is needed, and there’s nothing better to know, that as a whole, we can make a huge difference in the lives of Kentuckians,” said Kelly Craft.

Craft and her husband Joe, who are long-time benefactors throughout the state, co-chair the campaign.

“You think of the bible (passage) from Matthew; ‘When I was hungry, you fed me. When I was sick, you took care of me.’ This is what they do,” she said, referring to the Salvation Army’s year-round mission.

The red kettle campaign dates to 1982, and there are challenges to be met every year, but the last two years have been particularly hard given the pandemic. Even finding volunteers to ring the bells by the kettles has been a challenge. But Lexington’s Salvation Army Major, William Garrett believes this community will find a way to come through again, and the benefit will have a lasting impact.

“Even if it’s just showing your children about generosity,” he said.” Our bell ringers really do get an opportunity to see that in action; parents having those conversations with their kids,” Garrett said while referring to the young people who ask why their parent or guardian is placing money into a kettle.

Mrs. Kraft knows why. It comes back to all of the same issues she saw around the world in her former role as U.S Ambassador to the United Nations.

“Whether it’s human trafficking on the border of Columbia and Venezuela, we have it right here at home. People living and sleeping on the streets in Haiti we have that here at home. So I think it’s important to bring this home,” she said.

Click to make an online donation to the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign