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Salvation Army Begins Annual “Red Kettle” Campaign

Harry Bean helped kick off this year's Red Kettle campaign.

It's that time of year again. One of the most recognizable symbols of the Christmas holiday season is someone standing next to a big red kettle and ringing a bell – collecting donations for the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army's Milford Corps Community Center has kicked off its annual Red Kettle campaign with the goal of raising $70,000 by the end of December. "I'm hoping we can hit that total this year," said Major David Irwin. "The more we raise, the more we can help in the community."

Roughly one-third of the Milford center's annual budget is raised by people donating money into the kettles, which are at seven locations throughout greater Milford. "We celebrate 'kettle season' in the Salvation Army," explained Irwin. "It's a hard and grueling six to seven weeks for us," he added. "The red kettle is definitely a well-known holiday symbol."

Where does the money go? Last year, in November and December alone, the Milford center delivered 500 boxes of food for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, distributed more than 3,000 toys to children, handed out more than 2,000 articles of clothing and helped more than 1,100 individuals – all from Mendon, Hopedale and Milford.

"Our mission is to serve the less fortunate," Irwin said at a November 10 breakfast held to kick off this year's campaign. "Never before has there been such a need as right now." The Salvation Army is open all year long, he noted. "We don't shut the doors the day after Christmas," Irwin noted.

In addition to monetary contributions, the Salvation Army also is looking for volunteers to help stand by the kettles and ring bells, as well as assist in packing boxes of food for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Irwin can be reached at the 29 Congress St., Milford center or by calling him or his wife, Major Jesse Irwin, at 508-473-0786.

"It feels good to give," Irwin reminded people. "We're so fortunate," he continued. "There are some people who don't have anything." The Salvation Army's goal is to "provide not just help, but hope," he said. "We believe that we bring joy to people that we help."


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