Salvation Army, Operation Christmas Child encourage holiday giving

Child puts cash in kettle for Mankato Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign
Child puts cash in kettle for Mankato Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign(KEYC News Now)
Published: Nov. 13, 2021 at 6:46 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Fall is wrapping up, and nonprofits are encouraging people to give back this holiday season.

“There’s a reason this is called the season of giving,” stated Pastor Mark Kenney at River Valley Church in Fairbault.

Donors can get a head start on spreading cheer by giving to Operation Christmas Child.

The international program collects shoeboxes filled with toys and personal care items for kids in various age groups.

River Valley Church is one of several participating locations in southern Minnesota. It’s been a drop-off site for 11 years.

“Eventually, they’re gonna get in the hands of a child somewhere in the world, and it’s gonna make their day, make their year. [It] may be the first time they’ve ever gotten a gift. It changes their life, and it shows them that somebody cares,” Kenney explained.

Mankato Salvation Army will soon provide another way to give back this season.

It will launch its annual Red Kettle Campaign on Nov. 22.

Lt. Andy Wheeler said, “They are doing what they can to make the world a better place one person at a time, and that’s what’s really neat about our community during this season.”

Volunteer bell ringers will accompany its famous kettles at storefronts around town where shoppers can sprinkle in spare change or give virtually.

The contributions will help support its local programming and homeless shelter, which serves hundreds of people each year.

Wheeler added, “It makes a huge difference to those who are receiving it, and it’s just really cool. It’s awesome to be a part of something like that.”

Wheeler and Kenny said no gift is too small to make an impact.

“What you have to give is enough, and it will make a difference,” stated Wheeler.

Kenney mentioned, “Maybe you can do one shoebox, but that one shoebox is gonna tell one kid somewhere that they matter.”

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