The Transylvania Times -

Red Kettle Campaign Rings In The Season


November 20, 2017

Matt McGregor

(Left to right) Major Max Sipe, with The Salvation Army, Susan Breedlove, Capt. Jeremy Queen, with the Sheriff's Office, Commissioner Jason Chappell and a bell-ringing volunteer attended Friday's kick-off.

The Salvation Army of Transylvania County kicked off its Red Kettle Campaign for 2017 on Friday at Walmart in Pisgah Forest.

The kickoff marks the 127th year of the national Red Kettle Campaign, in which volunteers and representatives ring the bell at stores across the county and country for holiday donations.

After opening music from The Salvation Army band, Susan Breedlove, chairman of the advisory council for the Salvation Army, reflected on the beginnings of the campaign.

"It began 126 years ago in San Francisco when one Salvation Army captain wanted to know how he was going to feed thousands of people a free meal," Breedlove said. "So, he set up a kettle at the docks, and people contributed and God blessed him with enough money to provide those meals.

"Then, it spread to the East Coast, and we are just thankful we can be a part of it and meet the needs of our community during this Christmas season."

Breedlove said that aside from donations they need volunteers.

"It's not too late to sign up to volunteer," Breedlove said. "It always helps to have local people ring the bells because people know them, and people are much more apt to put money in when they know somebody is ringing the bells, so pass the word along."

Breedlove then introduced Capt. Chris Lyles, who moved to the area with his wife, Elisa, also an officer in The Salvation Army, in June.

"The money we raise goes to support The Salvation Army programs throughout the year, and it helps create a year of hope for families and for those individuals who are in need," Lyles said. "The pocket change that we collect in our red kettles helps to open doors for at-risk youth, it helps to put food on tables for families, and goes to keeping families warm and safe in their homes, so every cent turns that hope into a reality."

The goal, Lyles said, for the campaign this season is $42,500.

Matt McGregor

The Salvation Army's Capt. Chris Lyles spoke at his first Red Kettle campaign in Transylvania County.

"The campaign ends on Dec. 23, so we have a little over a month to make this happen," Lyles said. "We are reminded in the gospel of Matthew that whatever you do unto the least of these brothers, you do unto me, so I challenge you this Christmas season, as you are out shopping with friends and family, to remember those who are less fortunate than you."

Capt. Jeremy Queen, with the Transylvania County Sheriff's Office, also attended the event.

"I got on the advisory council about two years ago, and I'm very proud of the work we've done, and proud of the opportunity to be a part of the rich history and the ministry," Queen said.

Transylvania County Commissioner Jason Chappell attended the event as well.

"We have a lot of needs in our community, and if we look around, we can see that we've been blessed," Chappell said, "but there are still those who are less fortunate who need help."


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