Kettles set record

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Christmas giving totals recently announced.

Despite predictions of a weak economy, Americans once again dug deep into their pockets last Christmas season to help those in need. In total, more than $118 million dollars were donated to The Salvation Army’s red kettles, eclipsing the record $117 million raised in 2006. The modest increase of $1.3 million represents a 0.7 percent rise in total dollars donated across the country. The money raised will be used to support the operations of The Salvation Army in the local area where it was given, including Christmas assistance and year-round programs and services like at-risk youth programs and transitional living facilities.

“We were pleasantly surprised by this year’s total considering the increasing need we’re seeing given the home mortgage crisis, rising prices for home heating oil, and the state of general economic uncertainty,” said Major George Hood, national community relations secretary for The Salvation Army. “Ultimately, people realize how important it is to help those who are less fortunate, particularly as the need increases. So, we thank every donor for their community support through The Salvation Army and pledge to use these generous funds to continue to provide the critical services that people need.”

For the eleventh year in a row, the Red Kettle Campaign was kicked-off in a nationally televised performance at The Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game. Kelly Clarkson, popular singer and former American Idol winner, was the featured performer and served as the honorary kettle chair for the season. More than $1 billion has been raised since the national partnership with the Cowboys began in 1997.

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