The true impact of giving is unmeasurable. Families who struggle to meet the financial day-to-day demands question how they might provide a gift for their children on Christmas Day. Thousands of individuals, families and children are leaning on The Salvation Army in the Tampa Bay Area, serving Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, for assistance during the holiday season. The Salvation Army will partner with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Saturday, Nov. 21, at Amalie Arena, for its annual Kettle Kickoff, helping to raise awareness of people in need during the Christmas season.
The Red Kettle Campaign started November 13 in the Tampa Bay Area and runs through Christmas Eve. It is the largest and longest-running fundraiser of its kind. The money raised impacts the lives of more than 250,000 individuals, families and children in the Tampa Bay Area by providing meals, shelter, clothing and holiday assistance, in addition to numerous other social services programs year-round such as substance abuse programs, shelter and counseling for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, and military veteran assistance.
The event from 5 to 7 p.m. promises to be an evening of fun and giveaways for local families. The Salvation Army’s “Captain Kettle” will be present for fun and games before heading into the game to ride the Zamboni. Attendees can donate at kettles located throughout Ford Thunder Alley. The ceremonial first donation by a former Tampa Bay Lightning player will kick off the Red Kettle Campaign at approximately 6:30 p.m.
"The Salvation Army is thankful for the partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Our hope, with the help of the Lightning, is to help families and individuals in need throughout Tampa Bay during the holidays and year-round,” said Major James Hall, area commander of The Salvation Army in Tampa. “We want to make sure everyone knows that if they are in need, we are here to help.”
From its humble beginnings in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. More than 25,000 Salvation Army volunteers throughout the country ring bells and solicit donations to the Red Kettles.
Groups may adopt a kettle site during the holiday season and volunteer to ring the bell at that location. For more information on The Salvation Army’s programs and services throughout the Bay Area, and to sign-up to volunteer, visit salvationarmytampabay.org.