GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A lieutenant with the Salvation Army is taking the Red Kettle Campaign to new heights in northern Michigan.
Instead of standing alongside his trusty kettle, Lt. Gregory Bock is using the giant red pot outside the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Cadillac and making it his home.
He “moved in” on Saturday and said he plans to live in the kettle until Christmas Eve or until his chapter hits its $120,000 seasonal goal. As of Saturday, the chapter had collected approximately $70,000.
“I need your help. I need you to help me raise $50,000 in the next week by Christmas Day,” Bock said in a Facebook post. “I’ll be living out here to advance the cause of hope for those that need an extra dose of it here in Cadillac this holiday season and beyond.”
The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is a holiday mainstay, but the money raised from the donations covers costs year-round.
“Our year theme is ‘Love Beyond,'” Bock said in a Facebook video. “Love beyond Christmastime, love beyond hard times, love beyond anything that might just get people down this holiday season and throughout the year.”
Bock told 9&10 News that he came up with the idea years ago.
“One-hundred thirty-two years of Red Kettle outside stores, it just gets kind of stale,” Lt. Bock told 9&10 News. “We began this idea in 2016.”
The Red Kettle Campaign started back in 1891 to raise funds to provide a free Christmas dinner for the poor in San Francisco. Today, the Salvation Army offers a wide variety of services, from job training and food pantries to disaster relief.
“This is a way to one, help raise the money we need to make sure we can do what we need to do for those who just need some help throughout the year,” Lt. Bock told UpNorthLive. “Two, it’s a way to educate people on what it is the Salvation Army really does all year long for people.”