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Give freely to the kettle drive

| Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005

As much a part of Christmas as Nativity scenes and Santa Claus, Salvation Army kettles can be spotted throughout the area again this year.

If only area residents could see how the money raised by the kettle drive is used each holiday season, the local Salvation Army branch likely would have little trouble reaching this year's $60,000 goal.

But for obvious reasons, the spotlight of publicity doesn't shine on children who go to bed hungry every night and routinely brave winter weather conditions with inadequate clothing.

It also doesn't focus on those wide-eyed youngsters whose Christmas dreams could be shattered because their parents or guardians simply can't afford to finance a visit from Santa.

Also shielded from the limelight are elderly people on fixed incomes who are forced to choose between heating their homes, buying their medicine or eating.

Money raised by the Salvation Army is used to eliminate those problems and many more. That's why it's so important that area residents deposit some of their extra cash in one of those kettles.

The challenge facing the Salvation Army today is greater than in years past because so many Americans, including more than a few area residents, opened their wallets to help the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita get their lives back together.

Contributing to the hurricane relief funds is praiseworthy. But so is donating to the Salvation Army so that organization can continue serving needy area residents.

The local Salvation Army branch put its bright red kettles in place Monday outside Wal-Mart, Kmart and Giant Eagle in Rostraver Township, at the Monessen Foodland and at Save-a-Lot in Charleroi.

They will be manned by volunteers each day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Christmas Eve.

While the local Salvation Army is not lacking requests for assistance from the local community, it needs more volunteers to man the kettles and more donors to help fill them. Area residents who want additional information can call the Salvation Army at (724) 684-4282.

We urge people with extra time on their hands to volunteer and those with extra cash in their pockets to contribute.

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