Good Life

Helping Hands: The Salvation Army prepares to launch red kettle campaign

The red kettle campaign is the Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser of the year.
The red kettle campaign is the Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser of the year. Centre Daily Times, file

The Salvation Army of State College is a beacon of hope for hundreds of vulnerable individuals and families living in Centre County, helping them lead healthier, safer and more productive lives.

According to a 2014 economic study by the Brookings Institution, 25 million Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and more than 60 percent of those are considered among the middle class. These are our loved ones, friends and neighbors. With little or no savings and a costly unexpected event, people often are faced with eviction, hunger, homelessness and despair. It’s happening right here in Centre County. We see it daily.

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

Through the leadership and pastoral guidance of Envoy’s Derek and Betty Ellen Barrett, The Salvation Army of State College is able to meet the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of individuals and families through many programs and services. This includes rent assistance, heat and utility payments, budget counseling, emergency disaster response, summer camp, food and holiday gifts to families in need, music instruction, children’s scouting program and Bible study.

In August, The Salvation Army provided a back-to-school shopping trip to nearly 100 youth in Centre County, complete with new clothes, backpack and school supplies. The Salvation Army anticipates providing Christmas assistance to 300 children this year. In addition to social services and programs, The Salvation Army holds worship services Sundays at 11 a.m, Bible Study Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Women’s Ministries at 9 a.m. on Fridays. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The generosity of the community makes it all possible, through monetary donations, volunteers and donations of food, clothing and holiday gifts.

We are preparing to launch our annual, iconic red kettle Christmas campaign throughout Centre County. It is our largest fundraising effort of the year, which makes it possible to serve so many people in need. You will soon see our bell ringers and red kettles across the area. To many, making a kettle donation is a treasured holiday traditions. It is also a symbol of hope and relief in times of great need. To us, it is the fuel that allows us to continue “To Do the Most Good” here in Centre County.

If you could like to give back to the community, or you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please contact us at 861-1785 or visit our website, The Salvation Army of State College is located at 2603 E. State College Ave., Suite G.

Envoy Betty Ellen Barrett is regional manager of The Salvation Army State College Corps.