Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign kicks off Sat.

Nov 10, 2016 | by Don Felice

marietta-kettle-kick-offMARIETTA, GA (November 10, 2016) – It's as much a part of the holiday season as trimming the tree, wrapping gifts and sitting on Santa's lap. The Salvation Army Red Kettle fundraiser relies on those hustling and bustling in and out of stores at Christmastime to drop a few coins in the bucket and make Christmas merrier for the less fortunate.

The Cobb County version of the drive kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday on Marietta Square. The special event heralds the launch of the annual drive that this year has a goal of $300,000. Last year, kettle collections topped $260,000.

So who are the kettle collectors? According to the Salvation Army's Capt. Chris Powell, "We have a mixture of volunteers from throughout Cobb from various civic clubs, schools and organizations. We also hire people in search of work — homeless, people out of work, etc. — to help with the manning of the kettles. By hiring these people, we are also taking care of the needs of people that would otherwise go without during this season."

The SA has planned a jam-packed hour Saturday designed to entertain and inspire. There's nothing wrong with getting some holiday spirit — even if it is a couple weeks before Thanksgiving.

Here's some of what the audience can expect: Welcome by David Nutt, chair, Salvation Army Advisory Board. Emcee will be Donna Lowry, former Atlanta TV education reporter and now Cobb Schools communications director. Marietta High School ROTC will present the colors, Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds will serve as the 2016 Red Kettle honorary chairperson. Music intersperses the agenda with performances by the Strand Theatre, Whitefield Academy Performing Arts department, Big Chicken Chorus and the Salvation Army Brass Quintet. Kiwanis Club of Marietta Justin O'Dell and East Cobb Rotary President Sam Pierce will be there, as will Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee.

Several agencies rely on holiday generosity to fill their coffers. Nate Nielsen, senior pastor of Town Center Community Church and member of the Salvation Army advisory board, says there are many reasons people drop cash into the kettle: " … 82 percent of all the money we raise stays in Cobb County to benefit people in Cobb County by providing food, social services, financial assistance, jobs, etc. By providing afterschool care for Cobb County children and a place of growth through youth and adult programs, the Salvation Army seeks to "do the most good."

Article from The Marietta Daily Journal

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