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Letter: Gifts that made a difference

"I thank my God every time I remember you." - Philippians 1:3

In December of 1998, I was 10 years old. My family had just moved to a new city; we knew very few people and money was more than tight. My mother submitted an Angel Giving Tree application at The Salvation Army for food and toys. That year, I received a Scooby-Doo hat, gloves, purse and change bag. I was on cloud nine. I had my mom take pictures of me all over town with my new Scooby-Doo gear. My brothers and sisters received gifts as well. Though our surroundings were unfamiliar, someone went the extra step to show they cared. It was a Christmas never forgotten. Eleven years later, I am now a Salvation Army officer, and blessed with the ability to see hope spring to life in people daily due to the kindness of a stranger.

This past Christmas season, 464 families with a total of 1,032 children were able to experience that same hope due to the generosity of individuals, families, service clubs, and businesses in Kandiyohi County. With the help of people such as these, our annual Red Kettle Campaign surpassed its goal by 16 percent -- totaling $66,447. These funds (and all funds received throughout the year) go to help with Thanksgiving and Christmas efforts, as well as help with basic needs (shelter, rent, utilities, food, coats, etc.). Without the help of the nearly 500 volunteers and generous donors, none of this would be possible.

Whether driving through Chad Koosman's "Celebrate the Light of the World" display, ringing bells, donating toys, coats, or funds, you have made a profound impact. Your time, talents, and funds show the depth of your care for the community.

John Wesley once said, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." Thank you for "Doing the Most Good."

Lt. Aubrey Robbins

Associate Corps Officer

The Salvation Army