Red Kettle Summer

Linda Haskins, places a donation in the Salvation Army Kettle in front of Farmfresh located at 30 Town Center Way. (Karen Hymes, Daily Press / July 25, 2009)

Linda Haskins, places a donation in the Salvation Army Kettle in front of Farmfresh located at 30 Town Center Way. (Karen Hymes, Daily Press / July 25, 2009)

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about how many local Salvation Army units across the country are putting out red kettles a bit early this year for special summer fundraising efforts. The New York Times even blogged about the effort a few weeks back and NBC mentioned the campaign on the Nightly News.

As Nightly News anchor Brian Williams put it:

While they may seem out of season, for the first time since the recession back in the ’70s, they have been forced to fan out early in 25 cities, from New York to Cleveland to Lawrence, Kansas, because they need the money for those they care for.”

While it’s not unheard of for a local community to put out kettles “off-season,” it is unusual and we’ve definitely seen more of it this year during the economic slowdown.

Now some areas have completed the campaign (for the summer anyway) and had a chance to count up the money that will go to help people in need. The public’s continued generosity, even during these difficult times, is truly impressive. In Hampton Roads (Tidewater), VA, for example, The Salvation Army raised more than $17,000 during the month-long campaign.

As always, this money will go directly back to the community to support local programs. In the Tidewater region, fundraising will support Veterans Transitional Housing program for military veterans:

More than $2,700 of that money will go toward the Veteran Transitional Housing program run by the Virginia Peninsula Command, which represents Newport News, Hampton, Gloucester and lower York County. The program provides housing for homeless veterans, said Matthew Pochily, spokesman for the Tidewater Command, which serves Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. He said the remainder of the money will go to programs in the Tidewater Command.”

Read more from the local Daily Press newspaper here.

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