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Serving others without discrimination through Jesus Christ is exactly what happened when our community stepped up to the plate to give to our 2017 Red Kettle Campaign. With your contributions, we not only reached our goal of $100K, but we topped it for a grand total contribution of $102K!
The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is a valued tradition in our community, and with several obstacles surrounding our campaign this year, you, the citizens of Wilson, made it happen, and for that we want to say a great big THANK YOU!
From a few coins out of the pocket to thousand-dollar checks, your donations help keep the lights on for struggling families, provide nutritious food for the hungry and will help pay the rent when personal disaster strikes. And, it makes Christmas happen for families and seniors all over Wilson County who would otherwise go without!
There are so many thank yous, but several need to be recognized for their values during our campaign.
To Megan Lively, marketing director for the Shoppes of Brentwood, to allow us to kick off the kettle drive at the Brentwood tree-lighting ceremony. This will become our kickoff site in the coming years.
To Jeremy Munn, manager of Leonard Buildings and Truck Accessories, for loaning us the pink house which became known as the Elf House, collecting toys and contributions.
To the elf himself, Mr. Gary Profitt, for your countless hours of volunteering and planning.
To The Kathy Lineberger Team, Chesson Agency, Southern Bank, Gracies and the YMCA for collecting toys for us as a drop-off site.
To all of the kettle locations for allowing us to ring the bell: Belk, Marshalls, Food Lion locations, Harris Teeter, Hobby Lobby, Lowe's, Parker's, Piggly Wiggly, Walmart locations, Gracies, Downtown Wilson and the Elf House.
To all of those from the advisory board, churches, civic organizations, Boy Scout Troop 8, Wilson Police Department and private citizens for "adopting" a kettle for a day or more.
To Sheila Vick, Southern Container, for donating the hundreds of quality boxes for our Angel Tree warehouse distribution center. To all of the above, thank you!
Special thank you to the American Legion for the use of its facilities during Angel Tree distribution and all "Double the Kettle Day" donors: Triangle East Storage, attorney Jim Rogerson, Joyner's Funeral Home, Bridgestone/United Way, Miss Kitty, Fancy Home Products, attorney Will Farris, Mary Beth and Steve Coyte, Andrews Properties, State Farm (Chuck Finklea) First Wilson Properties, Southern Bank, Gallery of Flowers, Larry & Company and Classic Antiques & Hot Rods.
A very special thanks to The Wilson Times for your unwavering coverage and support during this season! It was a Merry Christmas indeed for so many in Wilson County and we pray for a Happy New Year to all our friends. For those who find themselves needing us, we say thank you in advance to those who help support us!
The writer is pastor and corps officer of The Salvation Army of Wilson.
Editor's Note: This letter was originally published Jan. 13 and is January's nominee for the John D. Gold Award for local commentary. Gold Award nominees are selected by online public vote. A separate honor, the Elizabeth Swindell Award, is awarded by the Times editorial board. Monthly winners in each contest are named and become finalists for the Gold and Swindell awards at year's end.