Carolers get Army's kettle drive started in North Versailles
A quartet of Salvation Army musicians greeted customers at the Wal-Mart in North Versailles Township on Thursday.
Holiday staples “Joy to the World” and “Jingle Bells” were in the repertoire for the start of the Army's kettle drive.
“You are the highest collecting store, consistently, in the past eight years,” Pittsburgh East market manager Marcy Park told employees.
“We raise almost 30 percent of our total red kettle dollars in front of Wal-Mart stores,” Army Allegheny County coordinator Maj. Mark Mackneer said.
The kettles provide a major portion of Salvation Army resources for the coming year.
The Army hopes to raise $2.7 million across 26 counties in its Western Pennsylvania Division, including $687,500 in Allegheny County. Local goals include $85,000 for Braddock, $60,000 for Steel Valley and $49,000 for McKeesport.
Weekly results will be tallied and displayed on posters at Wal-Marts in North Versailles, West Mifflin, Robinson; Bethel Park, Tarentum, Gibsonia; Natrona Heights, Carnegie and in Waterworks Mall.
“We love to support the Salvation Army,” said North Versailles store manager Melissa Held. “We love their core values and what they stand for.”
Held oversees 450-480 employees at the Wal-Mart overlooking Route 30. She said that support extends to the Army's Project Bundle-Up, as well as to other charities such as the Children's Miracle Network.
Division Commander William Bode said 800,000 acts of kindness will take place during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season across the 26 counties, including clothes, food, toys, help and assistance.
Some customers dropped cash in the bucket in the midst of the brief celebration. Madison Barton, 2, repeatedly put coins in under the watchful eye of her grandmother, Salvation Army Maj. Andrea Barton.
“We have already over 300 families signed up (for holiday aid),” said Madison's grandfather, Maj. Sean Barton, who shares command with his wife of the Salvation Army worship and service center at 821 Market St. in downtown McKeesport.
“That's over 2,000 children represented, and we're not done yet,” Sean Barton said. “We also have a waiting list of 50 families. We will probably be close to 400 families by the end.”
McKeesport is preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday from noon to 1 p.m., as are other Salvation Army worship and service centers across Allegheny County.
Centers in McKeesport, Steel Valley (Homestead), Braddock, Allegheny Valley (Brackenridge) and Carnegie were represented at the North Versailles Wal-Mart event.
There are other corporate backers of the Army. Giant Eagles throughout the Mon-Yough area welcome red kettles, which grace 135-150 locations in Allegheny County.
Panera Bread outlets are selling $10 travel mugs, with a portion of the proceeds going to Project Bundle-Up, a project of the Army and WTAE-4.
Those who present the mugs at any of 29 Panera locations through Dec. 31 get free coffee.
On Wednesday the 19 Pittsburgh area Bottom Dollar Food stores donated 300 turkeys that will be served up in 3,000 meals at 11 Allegheny County Salvation Army locations.
Dinners are slated on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Steel Valley center, 104 E. Ninth Ave. in Homestead, and on Thanksgiving Day from noon-2 p.m. at the Braddock center, 300 Holland Ave. in Braddock.
Some shopping at Wal-Mart were recipients of holiday joy.
A Western Pennsylvania Division spokeswoman said the retailer donated a limited number of gift cards to be distributed randomly to the crowd by secret Santas.
Park's role with the Salvation Army includes a seat on its advisory board. Her efforts for the Army and other charities won her a 2013 Women of Integrity Award from the Pittsburgh Professional Women organization, to be given at a luncheon on Dec. 3 at The Club at Nevillewood.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former Century III Mall general manager waives charges
- 2 firefighters injured battling Munhall blaze
- Steel Valley school directors honor new San Francisco 49ers head coach Tomsula
- Twin Rivers Intermediate students get hands-on science lessons
- West Mifflin thrift store sells winning lottery ticket
- St. Agnes students assist food bank during Catholic Schools Week
- 3 arrested in recent McKeesport business burglaries
- Overall Mon-Yough homicide stats remain steady
- Clairton City School District directors cap possible 2015-16 tax hike at 3 percent
- Lebanon Road businesses feel pinch from another road project
- McKeesport Area communications specialist develops mobile app