The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County and Green Bay Packer and Honorary Chair LeRoy Butler kicked off the annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign this morning at the Milwaukee Public Market’s Palm Garden.
The event featured Milwaukee Public Market culinary director chef Jill Nickerson. The kickoff event encouraged guests and the public to make a $10 donation by texting Sarmy to 85944 and to follow The Salvation Army on Twitter at #ringbellsmke.
“This year’s Red Kettle Christmas Campaign goal in Milwaukee is $3.5 million. This will sustain year- round programming for more than 80 critical programs administered by The Salvation Army. The economy continues to make it difficult for many families and we’ve seen firsthand a significant increase in the number of people coming to us for help,” said Maj. Dan Jennings, Salvation Army divisional commander for Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. “It’s especially hard during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, with people still seeking employment, losing their homes and not knowing how they will provide for their families. Many children attending the public schools live below the poverty line and nearly 3,000 students in 2012 were homeless. Our homeless shelter is full to capacity year round. To keep pace with the needs of area families we must rely on generous people in our community to open their hearts with a donation to help their neighbors this Christmas season.”
“I was disabled as a youth, spending a great deal of my childhood in leg braces and a wheelchair. My mother raised me and my siblings alone,” Butler said. “We lived in a poor area in Jacksonville, Fla. I remember as a child, going to a Salvation Army event and receiving my first pair of new shoes. Through my mother’s hard work and help from organizations like The Salvation Army, we survived. I am honored to support an organization that does so much good for so many.”
“Part of the market’s mission is to develop relationships with local community organizations and expand resources for those in need,” Nickerson said. “Partnering with a well-respected organization like The Salvation Army and local sports hero, Leroy Butler, is a natural fit. Our experience with hosting events and providing educational cooking classes allows us to be a qualified resource for the Red Kettle event.”
For more information about this year’s Red Kettle Christmas Campaign visit www.SAmilwaukee.org.