Detroit's tree lighting signifies the start of the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign

Posted at 5:46 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 21:28:27-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — At 6:20 Friday night, the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit will be lighting the world's tallest red kettle Downtown at Campus Martius Park.

The lighting signifies the start of the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign which this year has an $8.2 million goal.

Jacquelyn Cook of Detroit tells 7 Action News the campaign has been a constant help in her life,

"My mom used to go to Salvation Army when I was a little girl and she would get our school clothes and our school shoes. I’m from a family with 9 siblings and when we were coming up it was very hard for us and we sometimes didn’t have food, sorry to say, but it was hard. The Salvation Army was the place we could go to feel better, to get clothes, and to get food."

Cook says today she and her daughters all benefit from the campaign.

Funds from it support the food bank they use, their upcoming Thanksgiving, and next month, Christmas for the grandkids.

"It warms your heart first of all, and then second of all that worry is taken away," said Cook.

Sharon Tatom Garcia is the Senior Director of Communications for the Salvation Army Great Lakes Division, she told 7 Action News, "When people give to the Red Kettle, it stays local. So if you gave here in Detroit it would go to the Conner Creek Corps Community Center. They help people with a food pantry, utilities assistance, people who are dealing with eviction."

In 2021 the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit was able to provide more than 405,000 nights of shelter thanks to these donations.

They were able to provide more than 2.1 million meals and give nearly 88,000 Christmas toys to families like Jacquelyn Cook's.

Cook said; "Wow, I just hope and pray that when people see that kettle and the bell ringing that they would put in from their heart. Because you don’t realize what you’re doing. You’re not only helping a few people, you’re helping hundreds of people."