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The Countdown Has Begun!

I am so super excited! In less than 2 days, yes 2 days NWIgives will kick-off.  NWIgives is a day of giving that will be taking place all across Lake County Indiana in an effort to help raise money for your favorite non-profit organization in Lake County Indiana.  The Salvation Army is so proud to be able to participate during NWIgives day of giving.  NWIgives will allow us here at The Salvation Army to continue to help and support those in need of our services. Read More




Lake County Red Kettle Campaign Down by 14 percent 

Generous Donors Offer to Match Donations Made Online, By Phone or Mail

to Make Up for the Shortfall in Red Kettle Donations

            The Salvation Army has reported that donations to the Red Kettle Campaign in Lake County, Indiana, are down by 25 percent, raising just $709,000 of the $940,000 needed, while the requests for food and assistance are greater than ever.

The shortage is partly due to the fact that the iconic red kettles, which dotted Lake County streets from November 8 through December 24, feel $203,000 short of their $645,000 kettle goal, down 42 percent from last year.  With Thanksgiving falling later in the month, leaving one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, The Salvation Army is working hard to make up for lost time and prevent having to make any cuts the critical social services programs it provides to area people in need in the year ahead. Read More




 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. 

  • I thought of the little elderly woman who carefully puts her two fifty dollar bills in the kettles. 
  • I thought of the nursing home workers who recognized The Salvation Army volunteers as they wished a “Merry Christmas” to residents and handed out a small Christmas decoration to families sometimes forgotten. 
  • The young boy scouts and girl scouts that collected food and toys for other children their age, knowing their efforts would help them have a great Christmas. 
  • The service club volunteers ringing bells, singing loudly and wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas!” 
  • The groups that adopted families for Christmas, going above and beyond to make sure that each child received exactly the toys and gifts they asked for. 
  • Finally, I thought of the woman who came into my office with a donation of cash and brand new toys.  She had come through our office to receive help herself at one point in time.  Because of the help she received through The Salvation Army, she was able to get back on her feet and was now returning the favor, knowing that through her donation, someone else would experience the same help she did. 

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


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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 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

call 219-838-0380

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