Concord, CA— The Salvation Army is left reeling after thieves once again target red kettles in Contra Costa County. Two kettles, and all the money inside, have been taken in just three days. It’s a disappointing start to the annual Red Kettle Campaign that helps fund critical services all year long for the nonprofit.
The latest theft happened Tuesday, November 26 in broad daylight. Two men sprayed an unknown substance in the face of a bell ringer outside of the busy Hobby Lobby store in Concord and took her red kettle. Inside was all of the money she had worked hard to raise during her shift. The woman was offered the rest of the day off with full pay, but she refused, wanting to continue raising money for a great cause.
“I am shocked by this,” said Major Gwyn Jones, Concord Salvation Army Officer. “In my 30 years as a Salvation Army officer responsible for coordinating red kettles, I’ve never had one stolen. Now, we’ve had two kettles taken in just three days.”
The first theft happened on the evening of Saturday, November 23. A man posing as a Salvation Army volunteer tricked a real volunteer bell ringer into handing over the red kettle outside the Lucky Supermarket on Arnold Drive in Martinez. The imposter made off with $350 to $400. Police reports have been filed in both cases and officers are investigating.
“If you think you’re not hurting anyone by snatching a kettle, you’re wrong. This helps real people in the Concord area with things like food and shelter all year, not just during Christmastime,” said Major Jones.
The money collected in the iconic red kettles makes a crucial difference in the lives of thousands of people every day in Contra Costa County. The Salvation Army collects the bulk of its funds for the entire year during the holiday season.
To support The Salvation Army’s mission to meet human needs in Jesus’s name without discrimination go to www.gosalarmy.org. There you can also learn about all of the services the nonprofit provides across Northern California and Nevada.