WILLIMANTIC, CT - The spirit of Christmas is alive in Connecticut! As Salvation Army soldier Envoy Philip Hostetler counted kettle donations from the Windham area Walmart this Saturday, he came across a wad of $100 bills folded and paper clipped together totaling $1,400. “I don't know who put it in,” said Envoy Philip Hostetler, “but I hope they know how grateful I am.” The Greater Windham Salvation Army serves Chaplin, Chestnut Hill, Columbia, Conantville, Eagleville, Hampton, Lebanon, Mansfield, Mansfield Center, Mansfield Depot, Merrow, North Windham, Scotland, South Windham, Storrs, Willimantic, and Windham.
The Salvation Army of Greater Windham provides social support and financial stability to the community throughout the year, by providing a food pantry, financial assistance, visitations to nursing homes, and spiritual guidance. During the summer, The Salvation Army in Willimantic runs an eight-week summer camp. This program offers fun, safe, and educational activities to children, ages 6 to 12. Seasonal assistance such as food baskets, clothing and toy distribution is offered for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Donations collected at the red kettles in Connecticut fund programs and services that transform broken lives – sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry and making Christmas bright. Nationally, more than 30 million Americans are served by The Salvation Army each year. Thousands of volunteers will staff red kettles on street corners nationwide, collecting nickels, dimes, quarters and occasionally, a gold coin!
In December of 1891, a Salvation Army Captain in San Francisco resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area’s poor by collecting donations in a large pot. By Christmas of 1895, the kettle was used in 30 Salvation Army Corps in various sections of the west coast. The iconic red kettles are now used in 128 countries throughout the world.