The other night, a kettle was stolen from The Salvation Army. At first, I was shocked, then angry that someone would have the audacity to take needed donations from The Salvation Army – donations that would directly help families that have been placed in the hardest of situations and the deepest of need. The families that come to The Salvation Army are facing crises. They have hit rock bottom, with nowhere else to turn. The Salvation Army works to pick these families up, give them food or financial assistance to get them back on their feet, and strives to refer them to the resources and opportunities they need in order to avoid a crisis in the future.
Thinking of these families, the loss of my kettle brought me to anger. However, the more I thought about the Red Kettle Campaign and the services The Salvation Army provides at Christmastime, my anger subsided. Instead, my mind was flooded with images of the donors and volunteers that take their time and resources each year to ensure that others can enjoy a special holiday season with their families.
Through all of this, I realized that The Salvation Army is truly blessed to have a community of generosity as its main supporters. Generosity comes from all people and all places. It doesn’t take the mighty and powerful to make lasting change in a community. Instead it comes through the small sacrifices and generous spirits of an elderly woman, a small child, or a grateful heart.
This Christmas, in the midst of the busy-ness and hustle and bustle of the season, I hope you have encountered a generous spirit. I certainly have and I can say that it has encouraged me and challenged me to live out a generous and grateful spirit each and every day. – Lt. Betsy Clark
To make a donation by mail, please send to: The Salvation Army Lake County, 8225 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321 call 219-838-1328or visit www.salarmy.org/lakecounty
First Gold Coin of the Season for The Salvation Army in Lake County, Indiana
December 23, 2013 (Chicago) – One 1-ounce 1993 fine gold $50 coin, valued at approximately $1,300, was dropped into a Salvation Army Red Kettle on Friday, December 20, at a Strack and Van Til in Cedar Lake (9605 Lincoln Plaza). Gold coins found in Salvation Army Red Kettles have become a much-anticipated holiday tradition of giving in Chicagoland and northwest Indiana.
In the continuing economic downturn, more and more people are turning to The Salvation Army for help. The Salvation Army in Munster, which includes CedarLake, has seen a marked increase in the number of families, individuals and seniors requesting emergency aid for food, largely due to decreases in federal assistance benefits. Food assistance is one of the primary uses for Red Kettle donations, along with emergency rent and utility assistance, after-school programs for youth and drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.
Each holiday season, The Salvation Army in LakeCounty serves more than 11,000 people, provides more than 2,500 food baskets, 8,000 toys and more than 4,000 articles of clothing.
“Donations to red kettles in Lake County Indiana are down by 30 percent compared to this time last year, so a donation as significant as this gold coin really does go a long way toward helping us meet our goal and we’re so grateful to our anonymous Secret Santa,” said Lt. Betsy Clark of The Salvation Army Hammond-Munster Corps. “This year we had one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we’re trying our best to make up for lost time so that we don’t have to make any cuts to the critical social services we provide to people in need all year long.”
The philanthropic tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles actually began right here and dates back more than 25 years, when the first gold coin was deposited in McHenry County. Since then, The Salvation Army has received more than 400 gold coins of every type and description from anonymous donors.
The familiar Red Kettles will disappear from the streets on December 24, with a few remaining until January 4. However, the Red Kettle campaign will continue through January 31, 2014. The iconic red kettles and its bell ringers are the heart and soul of the Christmas season and are an integral part of The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. The Salvation Army receives nearly 70 percent of its yearly donations during the campaign. The funds are used not only to support Christmas programs and services, but to help The Salvation Army serve neighbors in need throughout the entire year. Funds raised will stay in the LakeCounty community.
For those wishing to donate at their computers, virtual Red Kettles are available on-line. Donors can host a virtual Red Kettle, or sponsor a Red Kettle team, by going to The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division web site at www.salarmychicago.org. Visitors to the site can register individually, as a group, or a business by completing a simple registration form.
To make a donation by mail, please send to:
The Salvation Army, 8225 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321
or visit www.salarmyhammond,org
The Salvation Army has reported that donations to red kettles in Lake County, Indiana, are down by 30 percent so far, compared to this time last year, while the need and requests for food and assistance are greater than ever.
The iconic red kettles have been on streets and shopping centers since November 8, with the goal of raising $940,000 here locally to fund the emergency and social services provided by the Army during the holiday season and throughout the year. So far, generous Lake County residents have given $410,000 to the local Red Kettle campaign. Of that total, more than $312,000 has been donated to the physical red kettles. The remainder has been donated through the mail and online. Read More
NIPSCO along with their partners at Helping Hands continue to bring the Christmas spirit by donating $5,000 to The Salvation Army to help needy families throughout the LakeCounty area.
Presenting the check to Captain Rebecca Simmons of The Salvation Army(from left to right) was Calvin Bellamy, partner at Krieg and DeVault, Rick Calinski, Public Affairs at NIPSCO, and Brad Vosberg, Senior Vice President of First Midwest Bank.
For over two decades, Helping Hands has kept smiles on kid’s faces during the holiday season. Through a partnership with The Salvation Army, the group hopes to continue to spread Christmas cheer again this year.
Helping Hands is a non-profit organization that involves Northwestern Indiana Building & Construction Trades Council, Krieg & Devault, Lake County Commissioner’s Office, First Midwest Bank, The Salvation Army, and BP Refinery. All those involved volunteer for one main goal, to help needy families during the holiday season. Helping Hands knows the importance for children to have toys at Christmas time. “The need never stops. It only grows and gets bigger with each coming year” said Calvin Bellamy, of Krieg & Devault.
Being that Helping Hands has no operating expenses each dollar will go directly to those families in need of assistance. Funds are distributed through The Salvation Army and to local domestic violence shelters. Lake Area United Way serves as Helping Hands fiscal agent.
If you would like to get involved, The Salvation Army distribution dates are right before Christmas, so we will need all donations in by Friday, December 6, 2013. Any donations given after the 6th will go for next year’s campaign.
To make a donation by mail, please send to
For more information on how to volunteer, please contact The Salvation Army closest to you: