Community members and Tyler Salvation Army representatives gathered Friday at Broadway Square Mall to launch the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle and Angel Tree drives.
The Tyler Junior College brass ensemble entertained guests and Susie Stein, development chair on the Salvation Army Advisory Board, sang.
The Salvation Army hopes to raise $375,000 with the Red Kettle drive, which uses bell ringers and iconic red kettles outside stores to encourage people to give donations.
The money funds the organization’s food pantry, shelter and programs.
Kettles are outside Broadway Square Mall and, after Thanksgiving, will be in 37 locations around Tyler.
“Even though it seems like we are pitching Christmas a little faster than people would like to see it go because Thanksgiving is not over, just remember this supports our mission that takes place all year long,” Ms. Stein said. “What we raise here for Christmas also provides Thanksgiving to people.”
The Angel Tree contains the names of seniors and children in need. People are encouraged to take a name and buy a gift for the person.
“We have these great opportunities to provide Christmas miracles,” Capt. Nicole Parker of the Salvation Army said. “What a joy it is for us being able to do that. We are so thankful for our community coming along side us this season.”