Red kettles have popped up all over the CSRA and your ears may be ringing with those Salvation Army bells. When those dollars disappear in the buckets, it doesn't take very long for them to show up in the community.
Tiffany Padgett and her boyfriend, Daryl Key, were out of work, had no home, and were losing hope just a few months ago.
With two kids and a baby on the way, she was desperate for a place to go. She found a safe haven at the Salvation Army Shelter in Downtown Aiken. Padgett says she was able to stay for 2 months…a month and a half over the normal stay period.
That's was only possible because of the kettle bell program and events like the Kettle Cook Off. At this event alone, Major Angela Repass says they hope to raise $1,500.
"The funds that we raise through our Christmas kettle program…those funds go to support our homeless shelter, our soup kitchen, our social services office, boys and girls club, as well as the Christmas program we have," said Repass.
Repass says last year's kettle raised $80,000 in Aiken. That money helps people like Padgett and Key get back on their feet.
"It gave me a lot of time to go out and find a job , and it made me feel safe that she did have a roof over her head," said Key.
"It's a good place to go to get on your feet because you have to be out from 9-3 looking for a job anyways, so it's a good place to be if you don't have anywhere to go instead of being homeless," said Padgett.
You can make a contribution all season long to your local Salvation Army by dropping change into any red kettle bells you see around town.
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