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Salvation Army Kettle Season Kicks Off in White Plains

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Several bells and a band helped ring in the Salvation Army’s official kettle fundraising season at The Westchester mall on Wednesday.

Anthony Gallicchio, who handles donor relations for the Salvation Army, urged Westchester residents to consider the growing needs of those in their community this holiday season.

“We are behind, but the needs are not. From Peekskill to Yonkers, from Tarrytown to Port Chester, the Army’s doors are open. Our hearts are open and our hands are open. We need this community to rise up,” Gallicchio said. “These are not just the down and out any more. These are middle class. These are people who can’t pay for their rent or medical. This change changes lives.”

After the White Plains Salvation Army Corp’s gave Peter Hadley, 44, of White Plains, the opportunity to help count kettle funds, Hadley said he beat an alcohol addiction and is now committed to assisting the non-profit as its kettle coordinator.

“Never in my life, would I ever think that anybody would ever trust an addict to count their money. Captain Tony gave me this opportunity four years ago, and by him giving me the opportunity to count this cash, I started to trust myself,” said Hadley. “If these kettles were not filled up, all these wonderful programs that the church does will cease. And if these were not filled up, I would not be here.”

Captain Antonio “Tony” Rosamilia said the White Plains Corps he commands is $15,000 behind this year and “crying out for help” from donors and volunteers who can help the Salvation Army meet record levels of demand.

Maintaining the soup kitchen, after school programs, and other community initiatives the Salvation Army provides is important, according to White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach.

“The Salvation Army has become our reliable partner in emergencies with providing water, food, coffee and shelter. When we had Hurricane Irene and we created our own emergency shelter, the food was provided by the Salvation Army,” said Roach. “The Salvation Army method of the kettle is really a great way to teach children about charity.”

Ninety cents of every dollar put into a kettle will go directly towards those in need, according to Gallicchio.

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