North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Salvation Army kicks off bell ringing


Christopher Andersson

photo BY CHRISTOPHER ANDERSSON Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, left, Tulalip Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon Jr., center, and Salvation Army Lt. Col. Harold Brodin at the local Salvation Army's kettle kick off for the holiday season on Nov. 18.

The Salvation Army of Marysville/Tulalip kicked off their kettle donation collection outside grocery stores on Nov. 18.

The bell ringers that can be found around grocery stores with their red kettle donation collectors are a well-known tradition around the holidays.

Money collected locally helps the Salvation Army's Marysville/Tulalip location provide meals to those in need, offset utility or rent costs to struggling families and other holiday programs.

"We're kicking off the kettles here, kettle season is on full swing now," said Michelle Rutherford, director of the Salvation Army of Marysville/Tulalip.

The local branch of the Salvation Army provides food or help with utility bills to many families in need.

"We have a lot of need. We're getting 30 calls a day for electric and utilities, and rental assistance," said Rutherford.

Because of donations from the community, the Salvation Army is able to "keep people in their homes. It keeps their lights on and their heat on," she said.

Salvation Army Lt. Col. Harold Brodin said the local programs, in combination with other social safety nets, help those in need.

"The Salvation Army reaches out and helps people that might fall through the cracks of the other programs," he said.

In addition to their normal programs, the local Salvation Army branch is also "adopting" 100 families this year and providing them with food, toys and "basically everything for the holiday," said Rutherford.

"We try to make sure that everyone will have something to be thankful for and something that will remind them of the true meaning of the season," said Brodin.

The donations help provide a better holiday for many families.

"A lot of these kids wouldn't have Christmas if it weren't for what people are doing in the community through us," said Rutherford.

"Being able to have that is a sense of hope for the future, I think," she said.

Rutherford said the experience of going out to collect donations helps remind her of how the Salvation Army helps the community.

"We get to meet everybody and hear everybody and hear the story of how the Salvation Army has helped them at some point in their lives or their grandpa or just someone they know," she said.

Brodin said it was good to see the generosity of the community as well.

"I see so many people doing so much for so many and it's just an absolute joy and it's a blessing," he said.

The local branch of the Salvation Army is still looking for volunteers for some of their holiday efforts as well, said Rutherford.

"We have lots of volunteer opportunities open, not only at the kettle, but sorting toys, driving toys, a lot of need for drivers," she said.

For more information about the Salvation Army of Marysville/Tulalip or for volunteer opportunities there call 360-926-2228.


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