2013 Red Kettle Campaign

By Jim on Dec 27, 2013

I had the extreme pleasure of kicking off this year's holiday season at the launch of the Salvation Army's 2013 Red Kettle Campaign. This is an exciting time of year for the Salvation Army as the familiar sounds of bells draw onlookers and Calgarians dig deep to help families in need. Donations generated from The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign go directly toward supporting programs and services for children and families at Christmas and throughout the year.

This year's event was hosted by High River's own Darrel Janz and began with a wonderful meal headlined by the best chicken I have ever tasted. After we finished our meal the packed conference room at the Hyatt Regency was treated to a presentation that I am confident that no one will soon forget. Amanda Lindhout of Canmore Alberta took the stage to tell her incredible story of struggle, perseverance and faith in humanity.

For those who are not familiar with her story, Amanda Lindhout and her camera man Nigel Brennan were abducted by a group of Somali insurgents while they were visiting the country on a week long freelance journalism assignment. Their one week trip turned into 15 months of captivity at he hands of a group of men, many of whom were only teenagers. The stories she shared about their treatment by their captors were gut wrenching to say the least, but they paled in comparison to her description of how was able to cope and survive until her release in 2009. 

Since her release, Ms. Lindhout has embarked on a philanthropic career and preaches forgiveness, compassion, social responsibility and women’s rights.  Instead of seeking revenge, she has created The Global Enrichment Foundation which offers educational opportunities to the women and children of Somalia. She explains how her captures operated out of desperation due to lack of opportunity.  She has since dedicated her life to dissolving that desperation and creating opportunity and equal rights in hopes of further developing Somalia. Amanda Lindhout’s views and insights are a tremendous experience to hear.  I urge all of you to take a few minutes and look into her story or better yet get a copy of her book A House in the Sky.

Amanda's inspirational story of courage was a perfect fit with the values of the Salvation Army and the messages communicated at the event were a great reminder of what the holiday season is all about.

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