Mid-Michigan Salvation Army Kicks off Red Kettle Christmas Campaign at Bronner's

Nov 13, 2023

*Major Randy Hellstrom, Mid-Michigan Area Commander and Wayne Bronner

The song that comes to mind when walking into Bronner’s is “It’s the most Wonderful Time of the Year.” This is the place where everyone can become a child again and renew the exciting feelings of Christmas. However, not every child gets to experience this level of excitement.

Many families are trying hard simply to keep the heat on and the rent paid.  Christmas gifts are nice but not always possible. There are many families who face the prospect of a very meager Christmas: a small meal with one or two toys and some clothing under the tree.

But with our many partners across Mid-Michigan we can ensure that hundreds, even thousands of families will have plenty for Christmas.

On Thursday, November 9, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland hosted The Salvation Army’s Mid-Michigan Red Kettle Campaign Kickoff – a decades old tradition. Officers from throughout the region gathered to kick off the season together.

The Salvation Army Brass Band Ensemble began the ceremony with lively and beautiful Christmas music and Major Randy Hellstrom, Mid-Michigan Area Commander gave a heartfelt thank you to the Bronner’s family.

*The Salvation Army Brass Band Ensemble plays Christmas tunes at Bronner’s

He reminded the audience that partners like the Bronners are crucial to all that we do and stated that the Bronner family are pillars of hope and charity. The Salvation Army would not be able to be who we are without the support from our communities and community leaders. Their support allows us to serve our neighbors in need.

  • In Saginaw, it allows us to do a Homeschool P.E. Program as well as their normal community center programing afterschool.
  • In Bay City, their Matthew 25 Café feeding program is made possible by partners like Bronner’s. That’s just one of the Bay City Corps Community Center’s 14 programs and services that run every week.  Their Café operates with 98% volunteers, which shows how important our partners are to each of our community centers.
  • In Midland, it’s the SHARE Summer Day Camp Program, in which we serve upwards 220 children each day throughout the summer.  And this year will be their 40th anniversary of running that program.
  • In Alma, it’s a pantry program that feeds people essential foods each week.
  • In Owosso, it’s their baked goods and produce distribution in which they distribute about 5,000 lbs. each month.
  • In Lansing, it’s their Christmas Food and Toy Program which serves over 2,000 families and seniors.
  • In Flint, it’s the 360 LIFE Center, which has 200 children enrolled in its afterschool program, where they can receive tutoring help in reading and math, develop skills in the trades, or participate in archery, basketball, or judo.

All Salvation Army locations also include basic needs social services which includes:

  • Food
  • Hygiene,
  • Household items
  • Clothing
  • Rent and utility assistance,
  • Character building programs
  • Spiritual guidance

Saginaw Corps officer Captain Thomas Moffitt, who has attended this event for over 10 years, received a $20,000 check from Wayne Bronner and reiterated how these funds would support the Saginaw area.

*Wayne Bronner presents The Salvation Army with a $20,000 check to kick off the Red Kettle Christmas Campaign

To end the evening, Mr. Bronner and Major Randy Hellstrom joined in a ceremonial ringing of the first Red Kettle Bells to kick-off the season and encouraged the audience to sing along to Joy to the World led by The Salvation Army Brass Band.

If you would like to make a difference this Christmas season, you can donate to The Salvation Army, sign up to become a bell ringer at registertoring.com, or if you need assistance, search for a Salvation Army location near you.


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