On Thursday, November 10 many gathered at Strack & Van Til in Schererville to celebrate the kickoff of an iconic holiday tradition. The Salvation Army of Northwest Indiana was out in full force to start this year’s Red Kettle Drive. These Red Kettles are synonymous with the holiday season and are a great way to help people in the community.
Strack & Van Til wanted to start this year’s drive off right by donating $100,000 in Strack & Van Til gift cards to the Salvation Army of Northwest Indiana. This donation is one of the many ways Strack & Van Til helps the local community through philanthropy, and they are happy to support a good cause like the Salvation Army.
Despite the mid 70’s weather, the holiday spirit was strong at the Red Kettle Kickoff. The Salvation Army was handing out refreshments as the band played Christmas carols to set the holiday mood.
Jeff Strack, CEO of Strack & Van Til, described the generous donation that Strack & Van Til made to the Salvation Army.
“To kick off Red Kettle season, we’re going to present a check to the Salvation Army for $100,000," said Strack. "This donation is in gift cards so they [Salvation Army] can distribute them to individuals and families that need a little help here during the holiday season.”
Strack went on to explain how Strack & Van Til supermarkets are proud to support the Salvation Army and all of the great work it does for people in Lake and Porter counties.
“We support a lot of organizations and events throughout the course of the year,” said Strack. “Salvation Army is one of those that we are proud to support, and they really do make a difference in people’s lives when they need it most, and oftentimes it’s when it’s least expected.”
Kevin Feldman, director of development for the Salvation Army in Northwest Indiana, described why hosting a kickoff event for Red Kettle season is important.
“Red Kettle season, without question, is the season that raises the most money for the Salvation Army,” said Feldman. “So we like to hold a kickoff event that gets things started and gets people motivated.”
Feldman went on to express how grateful he and the Salvation Army are to work with Strack & Van Til, and how much they appreciate the constant, yearlong fundraising that the company and its customers do for them.
“Frankly, there is no better partner than Strack & Van Til,” said Feldman. “In the summertime, it’s their Check Out Challenge that raises anywhere from $25,000-$35,000 for us in just two weeks. They are also a major sponsor for our golf outing and they provide us with a tremendous amount of food donations throughout the year. Strack & Van Til is an amazing example of philanthropy.”
Salvation Army of Northwest Indiana has a goal of raising $1.9 million this Red Kettle season to help families across Lake and Porter counties afford basic necessities like food and rent.
Captain Bersabe Vera, area commander for Salvation Army of Northwest Indiana, restated how important the donation they are receiving is to helping people in need.
“We’re going to be helping support close to 5000 families in the area,” said Vera. “Without the money donated, those families would not have money for food for Christmas or Thanksgiving.”
Vera wanted to stress that the Salvation Army is currently looking for donations for Christmas.
“I want everybody to know,” said Vera. “There’s a need, right now we are signing up for toys and food for Christmas. So please, go to our website and if you are in need we can help you.”
To learn more about Strack & Van Til, head to its website.