Seeing Success & Change: Kankakee
Tradition is a large part of defining your community. From family traditions like Sunday breakfast after a church service to larger institutions like annual parades or county fairs, we are all a part of regular activities that gather us with those we care about. How do these traditions begin? It is easy to forget that these weekly, monthly, or yearly routines had to start somewhere and for a good reason.
The Salvation Army is blessed to be a part of countless community traditions across the Heartland Division; and, as you show growing dedication and support, we work to expand and bring our mission to more of the parents, children, veterans, homeless, and all those in need that we serve every day. To spread our works further across Central Illinois & Eastern Iowa we strive to create new traditions that provide you and your community with different ways to experience what supporting The Salvation Army can be. Families, individuals and local partners from around Kankakee all came together to show their belief in a new community tradition that truly brings the most good.
Helping Others – As Easy as Riding a Bike
Often a community already is home to all of the tools needed to make a positive change. The only thing missing is the right leadership to put everything together. In Kankakee there was already beautifully kept public parks and trails, strong businesses/leaders, and a shared value for community. Lieutenants Scott and Makalya Parnell of the local Salvation Army saw these as an opportunity that became the first annual Red Kettle Pedal!
Families and individuals were invited down to enjoy a beautiful day in Bird Park where they could register and ride bikes along the riverfront trails or just enjoy the entertainment and refreshments. This simple concept allowed over 50 people to share the day together while supporting The Salvation Army’s work in their community by raising almost $2,500. A great showing by the community made this event more than just a monetary success too. Almost 30 volunteers and many local business partners showed their commitment to this becoming an annual tradition. Lt. Scott gave praise for receiving this support from all around, and he was excited to share this joy:
“We would love for this to become an event that the community looks forward to and comes out to support each year, and this year was successful enough that we plan to organize it again next year. I loved seeing the kids playing together, eating snow cones, popcorn, and hotdogs, and just enjoying a day outside in our beautiful community. It's nice when something like this is not only fun for the participants, but also goes to help others in need.”
With such success and support from the families and friends around them, Lt. Scott and Makalya are ready to build upon everything they saw throughout the day. As the tradition grows there are sure to be added elements and activities that continue to make the Red Kettle Pedal unique for the Kankakee community. With this commitment, The Salvation Army and our local support can effortlessly create positive changes. Together we start traditions that define the community we share as one of hope, love and happiness.
Thank you to all who make this possible every day. Whether it is by volunteering, donating, supporting our events or simply living out God’s word and our mission on your own – You are what is making a change to those in need around you. The Salvation Army is blessed to always be your partner in this Fight For Good.
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